Motorcycling back in time in historic Granbury


Scott Baker

Wanting to get some asphalt underneath our tires and escape our busy (retirement) schedules, the RR Motorcycle Club hit the road traveling to Granbury, known as the jewel of the Brazos River Valley. Founded in 1866, it has a lot of history to share, making it the perfect weekend get-away.

The town’s motto is “where Texas history lives” and for good reason. For years, it was the end-of-the-line for the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway. It’s also where many infamous characters ended up, including Jessie James, Carrie Nation, John Wilkes Booth and Bonnie and Clyde.

Arriving in town, we were immediately struck by its quaintness and historic charm. Granbury is home to the most historic courthouse square in Texas making for excellent shopping with unique boutiques and specialty shops and plenty of bistros, restaurants and wineries to choose from when it came time to refuel.

After strolling around the square, we checked into the Nutt House Hotel, an historical and cultural landmark, for our overnight stay. In the late 1850s members of the Nutt Family set up farmsteads. In 1871, they started a mercantile business which soon expanded into the current two-story, hand-hewn Texas limestone structure of today. The upstairs was eventually divided up into rooms with a hotel opening in 1910 and it’s been run as a lodging establishment ever since! The hotel’s early history was evident everywhere, including the luxury suites we were assigned with each elegantly furnished with antiques.

For dinner we visited Ketzler’s Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten serving hearty German food and beers. The place is smallish in size with wood paneling and old-world decorations, tables, and chairs lending to the feel of authenticity.

Afterwards we attended a performance of the musical Footloose at the Historic Granbury Opera House. We took a step back 130 years and experienced what it was like to watch live theater in a small Texas town in the late 1800s. Originally built in 1886, the Opera House has been painstakingly renovated to the period, boasting elaborate, imported chandeliers, elegant twin curved staircases, the original limestone walls, filigree iron balcony railings, pressed-tin-inspired acoustic ceiling tiles and an intimate seating arrangement.

We ended with a spooky evening taking in a ghosts and legends tour, mixing history with the paranormal. Our guide, an awesome storyteller with a vast knowledge of local history, kept us engaged the entire time. We didn’t witness any ghosts as we walked the Square, but the tour was fun and informative, nonetheless.

Although Granbury was just a short distance away, motorcycling is all about the camaraderie and enjoying the two (or three) wheeled bond with friends. When riding well and enjoying the road, at that moment all is right with the world. Come join the RR Motorcycle Club on our breakfast, lunch and dinner rides or pack a saddlebag for two- to five-day excursions. For more information, contact Mike Conley, Dennis Dotson, Scott Baker or Stan Brein.