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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“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

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The saga of the Six Shooter Ranch

By Keva Hoffman Boardman — The Six Shooter Ranch. The name evokes something rather wonderful in an old-Western-movie kind of way. However, dear reader, the history around the Six Shooter Ranch is anything but romantic. There are tales from different time periods which give us clues to its story and

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1881 bird’s-eye view of New Braunfels

  By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Created by Augustus Koch in 1881, the “Birds Eye View of New Braunfels” is so much more than just an etching of early New Braunfels. An aerial view of the city lying nestled between the rise of the Balcones Escarpment and the black dirt

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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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Legend of St. Nikolaus

By Tara V. Kohlenberg St. Nikolaus is thought to be the forerunner of our modern Santa Claus. Like other old legends, there are many variations of the St. Nikolaus story. He was from Turkey and in the 4th century entered the seminary. He soon became the Bishop of Myra, Asia Minor,

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Let’s talk chili!

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — An English-language advertisement in the German-language Neu Braunfelser Zeitung caught my eye: Mexican Restaurant Seguin Street — New Braunfels Meals at all times during the day for 25¢ Chili con carne, frieholes, tomales, fresh oysters, hot coffee and chocolate Cruz Gonzales That might sound pretty

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Getting “pop” in New Braunfels

Keva Hoffmann Boardman – Soda pop? Soft drink? Soda water? My family just says “soda.” Whatever you call it, the soft drink industry is huge. When did New Braunfelsers first get a taste for the sugary yet satisfying beverage? As early as 1872, Otto and Theo. Simon were bottling ice

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Snake tales

Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Texas is the perfect environment for many creatures. One of them is snakes, and here in central Texas we have poisonous ones: copperheads, coral snakes, cottonmouths (water moccasins) and rattlesnakes. Early Comal Countians were very familiar with our slithering neighbors. The NB Zeitung records many encounters

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Dr. Otto R. Grube practiced in New Braunfels

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman, Sophienburg Curator Occasionally, I need to look through the Sophienburg’s newspaper collection. The papers, on microfilm, date from 1852 to present day; it is an amazing resource. Often, an unrelated search sends me “down a bunny trail” (of course, I follow!). As I was researching pigeons

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