Early German immigrants faced tough times at Christmas

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — The year is 1849, just five years after the first emigrants arrived on the Texas coast. Hermann Seele has been invited to spend December 26th with Pastor L.C. Ervendberg, his wife Luise, their five children, and the 19 orphans left parentless by the devastating immigration

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Yet another rip-roaring July 4th celebration

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — Historically, the first July 4th celebration in New Braunfels goes back to 1846. The emigrants had arrived only three months earlier on March 21, 1845, when Texas was still the Republic of Texas. Now, in 1846 they could celebrate the national festival commemorating the

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Older than Gruene Hall

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — I love driving the streets of downtown New Braunfels on a crisp, clear October morning. My favorite streets are the those laid out by Nickolaus Zink and the streets of Comaltown/Braunfels. Some of the oldest buildings in Comal County are located along these streets. As

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Plaza-palooza

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — Main Plaza. We drive around it every day. It captures the imagination and baffles the tourists (and sometimes the new locals). It’s a magical place in the heart of our community that dons “new clothes” for each occasion, no matter the season, drawing us into

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Indian Days House

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Legend, lore and local memories hover over this old house. The structure is one of the oldest permanent dwellings in Comal County. Old it is, and certainly old to be so far out of New Braunfels. The current address for the place is 7600 FM

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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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Waters of Cypress Bend Park

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — It was a sweltering hot, end-of-summer, August Sunday in 1894, just perfect for a picnic by the river. Marie and Hugo Kramer gathered up their three children and joined Marie’s siblings, Georg and Lydia Hartman, and their in-laws Wilhelm and Walli Hartmann with their two

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Connecting the dots of history

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Remember dot-to dot coloring books? The fun of dragging your pencil around the page to connect each black dot in order to get an image to color? I find that working at the Sophienburg often entails finding and connecting dots. Recently, Wendy Zunker Coleman donated

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The Moeller family of Comaltown

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — New Braunfels has an historic and active downtown. In order for that to happen, three things are necessary. First, the buildings themselves must be of lasting quality. Secondly, an active preservation philosophy must be prevalent. The third is to have creative successful business owners. We

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Religious needs of the colonists

The articles of the Verein zum Schutz detscher Einwandrer in Texas (also known as the Society of Noblemen or the Adelsverein) required that the spiritual needs of the immigrants were to be met. The calendar and customs of church life were an important part of the Germanic culture. After their

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