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Prince Carl, Seele, Lindheimer, Meusebach to visit Sophienburg Museum

By Myra Lee Adams Goff

Did you know that museums come to life at night? The Sophienburg will for two nights on Friday, October 15th and Saturday, October 16th Five well-known characters from old New Braunfels will be there. The program has been written for children and adults alike. Children will come away from the program with a good understanding of what a museum is, its importance and a souvenir cookie.

This interesting and informative program is the brainchild of Sophienburg employee Amber Miller in cooperation with the Circle Arts Theater (Friday) and the NBHS’s Key Club and German Club (Saturday). The characters will be portrayed in costume by members of these three groups.

In the entryway of the Museum, Prince Carl will greet the groups. He will point out his seal, his powder horn, and will talk about his authentic writing desk and chair-the one on which he wrote letters to his fiancée back in Germany, Princess Sophie. The Prince will be loaded with information.

Entering the Museum, John Meusebach will be there in person. He will tell you about his very important treaty with the Indians. Among the Indian artifacts, a large collection of arrowheads found in Landa Park is hanging in a glass case. The next time you visit Landa Park, you will probably remember some of his Indian stories.

Next we will go to the section in the Museum called the cabin where ladies from long ago are looking at scrapbooks. They will tell us about the Sophienburg’s huge collection of photographs.

Around the corner we see Mrs. Helena Landa, wife of Joseph Landa, after whom Landa Park is named. Mrs. Landa is just finishing her carriage ride through the park as she does every day. Mrs. Landa will tell you about her son, Harry Landa, who opened up Landa Park to the public.

Entering the main street section of the Museum, we will be met by botanist Ferdinand Lindheimer. He will explain how he went all over Texas collecting plants and giving them names. He became well-known by doing this and was thereby called the “Father of Texas Botany”. Walking along, Mr. Lindheimer will point out the Louis Henne Company, an old hardware store that still exists today. Right next to the store is Tante Amalie’s toy store. She filled the store with toys right before Christmas and was closed the rest of the year.

Across the way Mr. Lindheimer will tell us about H.V. Schumann, one of many pharmacists in early New Braunfels. He has many interesting stories about what was sold in the old pharmacies. A show globe hangs in the front window to let citizens know by the color of the water if there were any contagious diseases in town. Finally we come to the office of the first newspaper in town, “Neu Braunfelser Zeitung.” Mr. Lindheimer was the first editor of this German newspaper.

We leave Ferdinand Lindheimer and there is Hermann Seele sitting in the celebrations area of the Museum. Called the “soul” of New Braunfels, not only because “Seele” means “soul” in English, but because he organized singing and dramatic societies. He organized so many festivals and celebrations. The Kindermaskenball is still held today and Seele brought the idea from Germany.

When you say goodbye to Hermann Seele, you will go right into Sophie’s Shop where you may purchase the new T-shirt which says, “In New Braunfels ist das Leben Schön”. It’s all black, a good way to remember “The Night at the Sophienburg.”

Here are some of the details of the event: Reservations are essential. Price is $5 per family. A children’s coloring contest will also take place with winners to be announced. Call Amber at the Sophienburg at 629-1572 for details and to make your reservation.

Ciaran Boardman, Amber Miller and Keva Boardman examine photographs in the cabin in the Sophienburg Museum.

Ciaran Boardman, Amber Miller and Keva Boardman examine photographs in the cabin in the Sophienburg Museum.