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Dream wedding at chapel comes true

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Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 12:00 pm

Like many little girls, Charleen Trevino dreamed of a magical wedding and all the pageantry that goes with it.

Unlike most of those other little girls, Trevino knew exactly where she wanted to get married - Polly’s Chapel in Polly, Texas, 8.5 miles from Bandera.

The chapel and its community were founded by Trevino’s  great-grandfather, Jose Policarpio “Polly” Rodriguez, who died in 1914 at the age of 85.  

The chapel, started in 1879 and finished a year later, was planned, handcrafted and built primarily by Polly.

He began his task, historians say, by choosing a location on his ranch less than 200 feet from Privilege Creek and adjacent to the community crossroads.

He situated the chapel on a small rise with a northeast-to-southwest axis in order to take advantage of the prevailing southwestern breezes, according the Texas State Historical Association

“I grew up with Polly, Texas and the Polly Chapel. Our family visited this site regularly from the time I was very young, and I imagined a Cinderella-style wedding. To me the chapel is a magical place,” Trevino said the day before she married Epi Quiroga on Saturday, April 6.

A monument marker in front of the 139-year-old chapel said it can hold 120 people. It was almost filled with family members of the bride and groom last Saturday.

Rain threatened to slow down the wedding, but showers stopped a few hours before the ceremonies, and the sun came out for the happy event.

More than one family member joked that Polly arranged the weather change.

As the newly married couple walked out of the church, they were greeted by five generations of happy Polly family members, throwing rice and making bubbles.

“The ceremony was everything I thought it would be and more. It was magical,” the new bride said.

The former Charleen Trevino’s mom, Kathleen Leal Trevino, said she and many other descendants of Jose “Polly” Rodriguez felt the connection to the famous Bandera County pioneer at the wedding.

“We have had a few family weddings in the chapel but not for a long, long time. This was a beautiful event,” she said.

Quiroga, the new groom, said the wedding was even more emotional because his wife lost her younger brother and her dad in recent years. 

Both were buried near Polly’s Chapel.

“We will be planting our roots in Pipe Creek after moving from San Antonio. We are super excited about our new life in an awesome community town,” he said.

Jose Policarpio (Polly) Rodriguez was a legendary figure in Bandera County and the Hill Country and beyond.

He was known as a Renaissance man of his time, serving as scout, gunsmith, surveyor, Texas Ranger and finally pastor and community builder.

For more information on Polly, Texas and the historic sites associated with it, visit

www.pollytexaspioneerassociation.org.

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