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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Chute! Remember where Clemens Dam and Stinky Falls were located?

By Myra Lee Adams Goff (Reprise August 9, 2006) — One hundred and one years ago H.D. Gode bought the first automobile here in New Braunfels. Most citizens believed this contraption would never replace the horse and buggy. Well, at least we don’t have horse and buggy traffic jams on

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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

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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

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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

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Bridging the river

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — What story could be timelier than a story about bridges? The San Antonio Street Bridge, the main bridge across the Comal River linking New Braunfels to Comaltown, is undergoing massive renovations that will take almost two years to complete. Under the circumstances, detours have

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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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First-hand account of the Indianola hurricane

By Myra Lee Adams Goff New Braunfels loves to celebrate anniversaries, but this date, Friday August 20 in 1886, we can commemorate but not celebrate. It was on this day one hundred thirty years ago (as of yesterday) that a hurricane hit the Gulf Coast. It was so strong that

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