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

Continue reading
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

Continue reading

“Tante Emmie”

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Emmie was not just any little girl. Born Sept 15, 1867, she was the daughter of civic and cultural leader Hermann Seele and his wife Mathilde nee Blum. Much was expected of Emmie. Hermann Seele was known as “The Soul of New Braunfels”, a name

Continue reading
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

Continue reading
Photo Caption: The telegram that told Albert Kirchner he had won the Certified Cremo Cigar contest in October 1931.

Albert Kirchner wins Cremo contest

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Last week, David Hartmann, the present-day unofficial historian of New Braunfels, brought some old telegrams to the Sophienburg Museum. In case some of you don’t know what that is, a telegram is a written message transmitted by using an electric device called a telegraph. The

Continue reading

Serdinko’s story

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Request from Fargo, North Dakota: Do you know anything about a New Braunfels photographer named J. Serdinko? “Uhhh…yeah,” I thought to myself, “but not enough to answer this request!” The Sophienburg photograph collections contain several hundred thousand images; about 300 of those are impressed with

Continue reading

Names of places tell a cultural story

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – I discovered something interesting the other day. In a 1954 New Braunfels Herald column called, “The Melting Pot,” the writer, Gordon Rose, discusses the names of nearby localities known by both German/Anglo and Mexican citizens. The names these two cultures chose give us insight to

Continue reading
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

Continue reading

Hidden in plain sight

By Tara Voigt Kohlenberg — Almost everywhere we go in New Braunfels, there is history hidden in plain sight. Perhaps it is something we drive by daily, but when asked about it, can’t recall where it is. Perhaps it is a building that looks like any other built within the

Continue reading

“He Got the Drop on Waldrip”

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — I found this story by Louis B. Engelke in the Sunday, January 3, 1954, edition of the San Antonio Light. It’s the story of Henry Langerhans and the part he played in the demise of Capt. J.P. Waldrip. It is really too good not to

Continue reading