The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips

By Gerald E. McLeod, June 21, 2013, Columns

The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods store in Elgin is a cute little shopping experience with vintage and second-hand furnishings accented by a glass of wine while you shop. In the evenings it also becomes an entertainment venue with fun events.

While waiting for the store to open, I slipped into Quoffers Pub across the street for a pint. The bartender, recognizing me as an out-of-towner, regaled me and the others at the bar with a tale of how the town got its name.

Long ago, Elgin was a whistle stop for the trains heading into Austin. In the early days when the trains reached the hill outside of town, they slowed enough that the farmers could easily hop on the freight cars for a free ride into the big city.

It was a pretty good arrangement, especially for the farmers, until the railroad got locomotives that could easily climb the hill. The locals expressed their displeasure with losing their free rides by throwing rocks and bottles at the passing trains.

A conductor, after dodging the missiles a few times, announced to the paying passengers, "We're coming into hell again." The name was shortened and became synonymous with great sausage.

The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods is in downtown Elgin at 106 N. Main St., and is open Wednesday through Sunday. For information, go to Quoffers Pub is at 117 N. Main St.

1,142nd in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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