Cotton gins in Comal County

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Who invented the cotton gin? Many of you learned the answer to this question in elementary school. If you said “Eli Whitney” you are correct, but like me, back then you really didn’t understand that the invention of the cotton gin revolutionized the American economy

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2024 Myra Lee Adams Goff Sophienburg History Award Winner

The 2024 Myra Lee Adams Goff Sophienburg History Scholarship was awarded to Nathan Martinez. In a ceremony during the Sophienburg Museum’s annual meeting on April 18, Nathan was presented with the award ― a $1000 scholarship ― and got to meet and visit with Mrs. Goff. He is the eleventh

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History of the Moeller House

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — New Braunfels historians have told us that the first immigrants arrived with very little in the way of belongings. And, unlike today’s new arrivals in New Braunfels, our founding ancestors had a lot to do before settling into a house. They had to secure materials

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Photo Caption: Portion of an 1874 Comal County Land Grant map. Highlighted are the land surveys making up the Rancho Comal in the 1870s.

Rancho Comal at Spring Branch

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — A Princely Estate — We learn that Maj Leland of New York, has settled among us, having purchased the Comal Ranch of Col. Sparks, fronting the Guadalupe River 9 miles, and laying 22 miles west of New Braunfels … all one body of some ten

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Photo of Alwin Merz.

York Creek Cemetery: Endangered species

By Tara V. Kohlenberg Change. One of the few constants of life. Because change is occurring rapidly in and around New Braunfels, rural cemeteries are endangered. Cemeteries and graveyards are sometimes the only connection to the history of an area. York Creek Cemetery is one of historical importance, as it

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Bohemian John

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — The best part of the local newspaper, for me, has always been the “society pages”. Since the Neu-Braunfelser Zeitung’s first issue back in 1852, there was always a section for local news called Lokales (German for local). This section described events, weddings, the births of

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New Braunfels forty-eighters

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — The forty-eighters were refugees of the failed German Revolution of 1848. They were idealists. They fought to establish a liberal and unified Germany using liberty, democracy and unity as their main tenets. The designation “forty-eighter” excludes the hundreds of thousands who emigrated from 1848-1852 for

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Photo Caption: Lina Chapa Delgado helping her granddaughter Michelle Ortiz listen to her heartbeat in January 1973. On the table are instruments given to Mrs. Delgado by Dr. Hylmar Karbach, Sr., a book on obstetrics from Dr. Frederick Casto and records of some of her 1,600+ deliveries. (New Braunfels Herald negative collection, Feb 1, 1973)

‘Bout birthin’ babies

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – Tokology. When you read that word, what do you think of? When I came across an old book in the Sophienburg’s collections with this title I was intrigued. If you are like me, you may have thought this book was about “the study of toking”

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Beaked-lid wooden stein, ca. 1885. Property of The Sophienburg Museum & Archives.

Pyrography (wood-burning)

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Take a look at the photo; it’s of a beaked-lid wooden pyrography stein. Yeah… that’s a mouthful…but the photo doesn’t come close to capturing the awesomeness of this newly-acquired artifact at the Sophienburg Museum. Standing a cool 22 inches tall, there isn’t an inch on

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Panthers in the park

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Growing up on Kentucky Boulevard in the ‘60s, my “backyard” included Panther Canyon. All the streets in that hilltop neighborhood dead-ended at the canyon, including Kentucky before New Braunfels High was built. We called it simply “the canyon” and it provided many hours of imaginative

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