Discovering Seadrift, by Jasmine Gordon…

Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Nov 13 - 0 Comments

One Roemer Closer

Throughout my journey to discover more about Seadrift, often times Long Mott comes up in conversation as well as Roemerville. However my search for information of the latter often leads to a dead end.

This time, I found a family tie which was able to get me one step farther to learning more about the small town which was located on Highway 238 about six miles northeast of Seadrift.

German immigrants were the first to settle in Long Mott around 1853; one family in particular – the Roemers. In fact, a member of the Roemer family has been exploring Texas since as early as 1845. I’m referring to the ‘father of geology of Texas,’ Ferdinand von Roemer who was dubbed this title due to his in-depth writings on the subject.

He published Texas in Bonn, Germany in 1849. The book covered his journey and observations of Texas as it was from November 1845 to May 1847. It was translated in English by Oswald Mueller of Houston in 1935 and has become better known as Roemer’s Texas.

I was able to locate other family members but I found very little. Ferdinand was brother of Friedrich Adolph Roemer, also a German geologist. Frederick W. Roemer was the first postmaster in Long Mott in 1893. Dr. John and Anna Mary (Braentegam) Roemer were also early settlers in Long Mott. It is thought that Roemerville was named after Dr. John Roemer.

That is as far as the search led me so I decided to find Roemer’s Texas to see if I could piece together more of the puzzle as I was not sure how the Roemer family tree branched out.

The following day I sat at the library in Victoria with the book in front of me. I was eager to learn about our great state as seen through Von Roemer’s eyes. In the preface, Mueller explains how he translated the book in celebration of Texas’ Centennial celebration and may I say he did an outstanding job!

As I browsed through the Table of Contents and Index, I skimmed to a chapter which mentioned Lavaca Bay, I was immediately drawn into the book. It was very well written and seemed more a book of fiction – primarily because the landmarks, climate, vegetation and wildlife were so contrasting.

In Chapter III, he wrote, “Accordingly I took leave of Galveston on the afternoon of January 12, 1846, and boarded the steamboat Spartan. The trip from Galveston to Houston requires on the average twelve hours. The fare, including accommodations in a cabin, and meals was three dollars.”

Incredible! What is presently a 50-minute drive took 12 hours in 1846! I had so many questions flood my thoughts as I read further, all the while keeping this in mind. The hours passed but they seemed like minutes – I barely noticed when the lights dimmed signaling it was time to head home. I could not take the book home with me as it lives in the Texas Reference section, but you can purchase your own copy of Roemer’s Texas via Amazon.com and various other websites. Von Roemer passed away in December of 1891 and in his lifetime published over 350 works!

While the pages I read did not cover family nor our area in particular, I have since uncovered more about the Roemer’s and Roemerville. But I’ll leave that till next time!

I also ask anyone that has any information or photos of Roemerville to please contact me before the next issue of the Dolphin Talk (see our contact page.). I’d also like to take a moment and thank all of you out there that have taken the time to share your stories and photos with me and our readers throughout the years. You’re the best! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Jasmine Gordon is researching the history of Roemerville. She would like to hear from anyone who has information or photos about this former area settlement.

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