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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What do you call that street?

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — It’s happened again. While looking for an old house address in the archive, my eyes strayed across the page to an unknown item, and my curiosity got the best of me. I needed to solve the mystery of a street named Pecan. I had no

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“Reflections” on movie history

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — What do New Braunfels and the 1929 Academy Award for Best Production (Picture) have in common? The answer is in Jack Kaufmann’s oral history recording for the Sophienburg Museum’s “Reflections” radio program. Jack’s father, John P. Kaufmann, Sr., owned and ran one of the early

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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

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A flight to remember

Replica of the Wright Vin Fiz, 1911. Keva Hoffmann Boardman — On Saturday, October 21, 1911, James Ogletree and a buddy finished gathering pecans along the Guadalupe River near the Gruene Road bridge and walked up to his grandfather H.D. Gruene’s store. There, they heard the MKT depot manager exclaim

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Die Neunköder and the castor bean

Keva Hoffmann Boardman — When nine young men from Frankfort emigrated to Texas in 1849, they were given the nickname of “Die Neunköder” or “the Nine Lures” or “the Niners.” One of them, George Weber, described the group of adventurers: “Taking a sailship at Antwerpen, we finally landed at Indianola

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Mammoth finds

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – If you’ve ever looked at the mural “Lure of the Springs” on the Parks and Rec building in Landa Park, you will find it includes a mammoth. The Sophienburg has several prehistoric artifacts and one of them is a mammoth tooth. Cool. I wondered where

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Charcoal burners of the Guadalupe

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — A year ago, I alluded to a book, Charcoal and Charcoal Burners, published in 1950, by Fritz and Emilie Toepperwein of Boerne. From around 1870 until 1919, the name Charcoal City was given to a region of land in the Guadalupe River Valley that extended

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“Ein Prosit, ein Prosit” to music

By Myra Lee Adams Goff We are celebrating the 175th Anniversary of New Braunfels and its unique culture in which music played a large part. Music creates sounds that evoke different emotions. Sounds representing joy, sadness, patriotism, history and love and can be produced through many different instruments and particularly

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