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

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

True crime series: The Irene Hitzfelder murder

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman Some stories seem to write themselves. Not this one. I have struggled with this story for over 2 years. On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 13, 1923, nine-year-old Irene Hitzfelder was brutally killed by sixteen year-old Clarke Coffield. Irene, the daughter of Herman and Wanda nee

Continue reading

The museum’s Mormon mystery

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – I just finished an exhibit on the Waissenhaus or Orphan’s Home. Organized in 1848 near Gruene, it was the first orphanage in Texas. I perused the Sophienburg’s collections to find original artifacts to use in the exhibit, and knew that of two large dough troughs,

Continue reading

New Braunfels 25th Birthday (Part 2)

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — Day two of the 25th Jubilee of the founding of New Braunfels turned out to be just as wonderful as the day before. As it neared 10 am on Monday, May 16, 1870, citizens once again assembled at the school on Academy and Mill streets.

Continue reading

New Braunfels 25th Birthday (Part 1)

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — New Braunfels, founded on March 21, 1845, traditionally celebrated the city’s anniversaries in May, because of agricultural and weather issues. The 25th Anniversary was held Sunday and Monday, May 15-16, 1870. Jubilee committees worked from March through May to plan the event. At 7 p.m.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Where exactly is Comaltown?

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — To know the history of New Braunfels is to know the history of Comaltown. This is somewhat true but not entirely. In 1845, there were two towns, separated only by the Comal River‘s original channel which basically runs from Landa Park Lake between the

Continue reading