Kolaches and Jewelry? (Texas History Influences...)
What do kolaches and jewelry have in common? THIS CZECH TEXAS GIRL! 😆 And what does silver jewelry or turquoise and beaded jewelry have to do with Texas history? Prickly Cactus Jewels is greatly inspired by my own family history and the rich Texas culture! The Czech culture runs deep in Texas. There is even the famous Czech Stop in Waco that you NEVER want to miss if you are passing through!! So how did it all start?
Czech immigration to Texas in the 1800s shaped my own history and, to this day, inspires in my jewelry designs!! I hope you have fun reading just a little bit about Texas history influences and enjoy the pieces I share with you that this history has touched!
A hope of a better future, a place for a family to buy land at a cheap price and grow a legacy... this is what Texas promised to Europeans. Texas offered opportunity to the families struggling in the overcrowded farmlands of Central Europe who left frustrated after the failure of the 1848 social uprisings on the European continent.
In 1839 Texas introduced the Homestead Law offering land for $0.50/acre compared to $1.25 in the US. As a result, Texas saw significant immigration. The first Czech immigrants came to Texas around 1850. The primary
way into Texas for Czech and Slavic immigrants was Galveston. They originally settled the central part of Texas, but my Czech ancestors arrived between 1870 and 1890, and settled in the Coastal Prairie around Damon, TX.
My family owned that same farmland in Damon until my grandmother and her 8 siblings passed away, and the family broke up the land (less than 100 acres) and sold it off about 10 years ago.
My grandmother spoke fluent Czech, and my father taught me Czech words as a child that I still remember to this day. My father actually carries a slight European accent (even if he doesn't know it) that comes out at times, which he picked up from his mother. He regularly drives from South Texas to Central Texas just to buy Czech sausage from his favorite Czech store in Shiner, Texas. We are proud of our Czech heritage and enjoy the foods and culture stemming from our heritage!