New Year’s traditions around the world

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — Have you heard of Sylvester’s Abend? Have you heard of New Year’s Eve? Two names for the same event. To arrive at the Gregorian calendar that we and most European countries use was not an easy process. Many changes took place before the final

Continue reading
Dittlinger house, 372 S. Magazine, circa 1920

Beauty at one hundred and twelve

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — As I sit gazing out the back door of the Sophienburg museum on this gloomy December afternoon, it makes me smile as I watch the yearlings romp and play. The does graze nearby in an old pecan orchard adjacent to the Dittlinger home. The jewel

Continue reading

Early German immigrants faced tough times at Christmas

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — The year is 1849, just five years after the first emigrants arrived on the Texas coast. Hermann Seele has been invited to spend December 26th with Pastor L.C. Ervendberg, his wife Luise, their five children, and the 19 orphans left parentless by the devastating immigration

Continue reading
Photo: Alfred Schalausky Family with lighted Christmas tree, 1932.

Let there be Christmas light

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Decorations for Christmas are up at the Sophienburg Museum and Archives. This year we are highlighting 20th century Christmas décor of the 1920s–1960s. You will be wonderfully transported back to your childhood. We also discovered several large boxes with Christmas lights which led me to

Continue reading
Caption: Old World Bakery selling Stollen and other fresh baked goods at Weihnachtsmarkt.

Christmas from Germany to New Braunfels

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — You might think it too early to speak of Christmas, but Halloween is over, Main Plaza is decked out in lights and we are now enjoying Wurstfest, the Ten-Day Salute to Sausage! Can Christmas be far behind? I think not. So, in keeping with the

Continue reading
Photo Caption: Records in the Sophienburg Museum and Archives used in researching Pablo Diaz.

The Pablo Diaz story

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – Sometimes a little tidbit of information sets me off on a bunny trail. I took one of those trails recently after finding and reading a 1975 letter from Oscar Haas to Mrs. Gregorio Coronado here in New Braunfels. Haas was drawing her attention to the

Continue reading
This 10-vara chain on exhibit in the Sophienburg Museum was made by W.&L.E. Gurley in Troy, New York.

What’s a vara?

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — “What’s a vara?” was asked by one of the Sophienburg’s volunteers. “It’s a length of measure used by the Spanish for measuring land,” I glibly answered. “We have a vara chain on display in the museum.” Sometimes I impress myself. I got to thinking that

Continue reading

Horse racing at the county fair

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — By now you know that “it’s fair time!” This fabulous, fun-filled week of the Comal County Fair brings the entire community together and hopefully slides in on the first norther of the year. Yeah, that weather thing is not happening this year, but still very

Continue reading

Jardin de las almas

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — How we honor our dead says a lot about who we are. It embodies what we believe and how we live and die. For Hispanic Heritage Month, the Sophienburg Museum and West Side Community Center and Library have partnered to focus on where local Hispanic

Continue reading

Much can be discovered by visiting graves at Comal Cemetery

(Encore of article that first appeared November 26, 2008.) By Myra Lee Adams Goff — Recently I went to the Comal Cemetery to visit family and friends. Don’t tell me that I’m the only one that does that; someone brings the flowers! Since I started writing this column I have

Continue reading