La Grange was the site of an early crossing of the Colorado River along La Bahía (Lower Road) of the El Camino Real (Kings Highway), during the Spanish period. The earliest Anglo-American settlers in the area were Aylett C. Buckner and Peter Powell, who lived slightly to the west. The first Anglo-American settlement on the city's present location was by Stephen F. Austin's band of colonists in 1822. John Henry Moore built a blockhouse in 1828 (some sources cite 1826) as protection from the Comanche. The building is known as Moore's Fort and can be found today in nearby Round Top, having been moved there for restoration. By 1831 a small community had developed around Moore's Fort. The town of La Grange was platted in 1837, during the Republic of Texas period, as the county seat for the then-new county of Fayette. Both of these place names were in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, who fought with the Americans and aided the cause of the American Revolution; he died in 1834. Lafayette's castle in France for which La Grange was named is the Château de la Grange-Bléneau. In the immigration wave of Germans after the revolutions of 1848, the town was a major site of German settlement; newcomers said (like the Czechs who followed them) that the rolling hills and forests were reminiscent of their homelands. In the 21st century, the German and Czech influences on the town are still visible in many local customs, the architecture, and the town's reputation for rejecting prohibition of alcoholic beverages during the 1920s and 1930s - beyond a token effort by the local authorities. German and Czech culture had a more social tradition around drinking. La Grange became the home of many Jewish immigrants in the late 19th century, who entered the region through the port of Galveston. La Grange has a number of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town was the departure point for the Mier Expedition, known for the Black Bean Episode. Team members had gathered at an historic oak that is a local landmark. The tree survives, although it was damaged from being hit by the car of a drunk driver. The tree has a concrete support for stability
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