“The beauty of the place was astounding. Masses of wild flowers covered the prairie and powerful springs added to the magnificent beauty creating a crystal clear river which would serve the industry of the future.”
April 20, 1842
A group of 21 German aristocrats came together at Biebrich on the Rhine near Mainz, Germany, to form an organization known as the Adelsverein, or “Society”—short for Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. The first four ships to set sail left Germany in the fall of 1844 and the last arrived on Dec. 21, 1844.
“A new town has been founded. The inhabitants are all German.”
– Christina Rieck, letter, May 10, 1845
July 1, 1844
Prince Carl Solms-Braunfels landed at Galveston to locate property for settlers that were to followe later. Lipan, Tonkawa, Karankawa, and Hueco Indians were in the area at the time of founding
Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels,
Germany, circa 1840.
March 6, 1845
After securing a landing site on the Texas Coast at what was then known as Carlshafen (now Indianola), Prince Carl returned to San Antonio where he heard of available land situated on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers, and of the legend of Las Fontanas (Comal Springs).
March 14, 1845
Prince Carl entered into an agreement with Maria Antonia Veramendi Garza and her husband for the purchase of 1,265 acres for $1,112. This included the present site of New Braunfels.
March 18, 1845
Prince Carl crossed the Guadalupe River at the ford of the military road, El Camino Real, which stretched from Nacogdoches to San Antonio.
March 21, 1845
On Good Friday, emigrant wagons forded the river at the same spot as Prince Carl, marking the founding of New Braunfels.
April 28, 1845
The cornerstone was laid for a fort—the Sophienburg—named in honor of the prince’s fiancée, the Lady Sophia, Princess of Salm-Salm.
August 11, 1845
Hermann Seele began the city’s first school under the same elm trees where Reverend Ervenberg held Christian services.
October 2, 1845
The First Protestant Church was incorporated.
The first ferry across the Guadalupe River was established at the confluence of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. The ferry was able to handle all but the heaviest flood waters and claimed to be able to carry the heaviest wagons.
November 11, 1845
Ernst and Antoinette Gruene arrived in Galveston.
March 5, 1846
The first Catholic mass was held, and land was given for a structure to be built.
Kindermasken Ball was founded by Hermann Seele.
Dr. Ferdinand Lindheimer began collecting and studying flora in Texas. He organized his findings into a system, thus becoming known as the “Father of Texas Botany.”
March 24, 1846
Comal County was created by the Texas Legislature.
March 4, 1847
Artist Conrad Casper Rohrdorf created the first panoramic view of New Braunfels.
March 1, 1849
Black Walnut Church was built for the Catholic Church.
July 4, 1849
The New Braunfels Schuetzen Verein was founded. It is the oldest continuously active shooting club in the United States.
March 2, 1850
The area’s first singing society formed – Germania Gesangverein.
March 7, 1850
New Braunfels was the fourth largest city in Texas.
Carl G. von Iwonski opens first art studio, where he depicted portraits of early settlers in ink, oil, and pencil.
March 8, 1850
St. Martin’s Lutheran Church was founded. It is now the oldest Lutheran church in Texas.
March 3, 1852
A large meeting of interested New Braunfels residents elected Ferdinand Lindheimer as the newspaper’s first editor from a list of three candidates. The money for purchase of the equipment was subscribed publicly, and each subscriber received a certificate of partnership.
March 3, 1852
The Agricultural and Horticultural Society of Comal County was founded
by the Acker und Gartenbau Verein.
The Shepherd’s Society was formed, representing cattle grazing and herding.
November 12, 1852
The first issue of the Neu Braunfelser Zeitung was published.
March 4, 1853
Lindheimer, a botanist who had no training in the newspaper business, became the sole owner of the Zeitung.
March 1, 1856
The first wagon bridge across the Comal River was built by the City of New Braunfels.
March 5, 1857
Henne Hardware opened and has been operating ever since. It is the oldest hardware store in Texas.
March 11, 1858
The first public school was founded and funded through self-imposed tax. Citizens unanimously voted to impose the tax, 18 years before the State of Texas provided for such taxation.
March 16, 1860
Original county facility built.
March 6, 1868
Naegelin’s Bakery opened and has been operating continuously ever since. It is now the oldest bakery in Texas.
March 1, 1872
The first generation German-American farmer Heinrich (Henry) D. Gruene purchased 6,000 acres of farmland three miles north of New Braunfels, along the Guadalupe River.
August 17, 1874
First fire protection was provided by the Turner (gymnasts) Fire Company, formed August 17, 1874.
June 6, 1886
Herman Seele, Waterworks committee chairman, called a mass meeting to inaugurate a Volunteer Fire Department. Two hose companies and one hook and ladder company were formed.
January 4, 1893
The Comal County fair Association is organized as a benefit for the New Braunfels Hospital. It became a “Fair Association” on its own a year later. The Fair celebrated 100 years in 1994.
January 23, 1896
Telephone service comes to New Braunfels when Southwestern Telephone and Telegraph company completed its telephone lines between San Antonio and Austin.
March 18, 1902
Herman Seele passes away.
January 26, 1906
The New Braunfels Herald reads: “Landa Park, at a location nearest the ridge which heretofore lay almost untouched by spade or pick, as nature created it, is now undergoing a revolution by which it will be transformed into the loveliest spot in Texas.” There are plans for neat rustic bridges across the “crystal streamlet” and promenades and driveways will be added. A spacious summer house will be built on a small island some distance below the old waterwheel “from where a grand view can be had up and down the lake.”
March 1, 1914
The New Braunfels Brewing Company opened.
March 1, 1914
During WWI, the food situation in Europe became critical. To address that need, the New Braunfels Herald, by request of the United States Food Administration, announced that special economizing and savings days would go into effect. There would be two heatless days, Monday and Tuesday each week, as well as a wheatless meal each day of the week.
Each Tuesday would also be a meatless day and there would be one meatless meal each day of the week. Tuesday and Saturday would be porkless days, and every day was to be a fat-saving and sugar-saving day.
March 5, 1914
An American La France hose and pumping engine was purchased for the New Braunfels Fire Department.
January 8, 1915
New Braunfels native A.C. Woman is appointed state bank examiner by Governor-elect James E. Ferguson.
March 1, 1915
A locomotive hose truck and a Ford fire chief’s car were purchased for the NBFD.
January 17, 1916
President Woodrow Wilson announces the appointment of Gustav Reininger as Post Master of New Braunfels.
March 1, 1916
The fire warning system consisted of two towers with fire bells placed in different parts of the city.
March 1, 1918
A central fire station was constructed at a cost of $20,000 and the city’s first paid firefighters were employed.
January 31, 1920
The barbers of New Braunfels announce an increase in their charges, as follows: haircuts 40 cents; shaves 25 cents, shampoo 35 cents, all tonics 25 cents, massage 50 cents, baths 35 cents.
January 7, 1922
The auction sale of a carload of mules is to be held in the Doeppenschmidt Auto Service Pen. The stock is touted as from “your neighboring county and not like northern stock which get sick for a year and about half of them die”.
February 7, 1922
The first self-serve grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, opens in New Braunfels. The store only accepts cash.
January 12, 1923
A new concrete bridge is constructed on North San Antonio Street over the Comal River near the site of the Dittlinger building. Locals predict that upon completion, the site, including the “old dam with all its surroundings” will be one of the show places of the area. The dam referred to is the Clemens Dam, now known for the tube chute.
January 12, 1923
It is announced that Dittlinger Enterprises will build a new two-story office building on the corner of East San Antonio and Gilbert.
January 18, 1923
The State of Texas grants a charter for the Planters and Merchants Mill, it is one of the largest textile corporations in the state. The building covers over two acres of floor space and will be equipped with 10,0000 electrically operated spindles. Production is expected to be 9,000,000 yards of gingham annually.
March 1, 1932
The New Braunfels Herald and local merchants launch their first annual “First Baby Club”.
September 9, 1936
The NB Fire Department celebrates its 50th Anniversary. There were six paid men and 65 volunteers.
January 5, 1940
A.E. Goode registers the name “Oasis” in Comal County for a night club. The Oasis, in its day, was the fanciest night spot in Comal County. The slogan, “Oasis – Dancing under the Stars”, became a popular phrase associated with the club.
January 29, 1941
Home Demonstration Agent Lorene Russell Ludwig brought the first HD club to Comal County. Four clubs still function here. In 1979, the name was changed to Extension Homemakers.
February 3, 1942
Louis Pruneda and Fred Luna registered the name “Club Latino” for their business at 207 West San Antonio St. Later, the club became a café, specializing in Mexican dishes.
January 21, 1945
Because of the WW II effort, it was decided to defer any plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of New Braunfels until “the boys come home”. The celebration took place the following year.
January 28, 1945
The city’s first Parks Commission is approved, focusing on the needs of the city’s growing parks system.
July 1, 1945
The Parks Commission purchases Panther Canyon for $4000 and adds fifty acres to Landa Park.
March 13, 1946
Ten additional acres, including the old Landa Oil Mill property at the entrance to Landa Park, was bought for $65,000.
January 28, 1965
The New Braunfels Art League is formed.
March 22, 1970
First Founders’ Trail Ride: 96 riders with horses and wagons gathered on the Indianola Beach and rode for 6 days to arrive in New Braunfels on Good Friday and cross the Guadalupe River bridge.
January 1, 1976
Second Founders’ Trail Ride: for the Nation’s Sesquicentennial and was continued every 5 years with the help of the Comal County Sheriff’s Posse and Easy Hall as TrailBoss
January 16, 1994
A monument honoring the men and women who served their country during wartime is dedicated in Prince Solms Park. New Braunfels Mayor Clinton Brandt and County Judge Carter Casteel are on hand. Color guards representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sons of the American Revolution, and the United States Marine Corps pay tribute to those who served their country so bravely. Fred Lingner, Veterans War Memorial chairman, designed the blue granite monument, which weighs 24,000 pounds and stands twenty-one feet high.
January 1, 2000
Founders’ Trail Ride coincided with the 155th Anniversary of the Founding of New Braunfels
January 1, 2001
The Heritage Trail Ride Association of New Braunfels, Inc. was formed in 2001 by the Founding Life Members. They ensure the Trail Ride from Indianola to New Braunfels every 5 years in order to preserve the history of the founding fathers trek to establish our community we now call New Braunfels. Beginning on the beach of Indianola on Palm Sunday weekend and traveling through Placedo, Victoria, Cuero, Hochheim, Cost, Seguin and ending in New Braunfels on Good Friday and crossing the Guadalupe River Bridge at 3:15 p.m.
June 30, 2002
June 30 – July 7: 34+ inches of rain fell in the upper watershed of the Guadalupe River) – First time water went over the spillway at the Canyon Lake Dam creating what is now known as the Canyon Lake Gorge
January 1, 2003
The Bandstand was recorded as a Texas Landmark
January 1, 2005
Creekside, a 250 acre, $200 million project was announced
January 1, 2008
New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center was completed – this $12 million project gave New Braunfels its first multi-use facility for community and visitor events
November 5, 2010
50th Annual Wurstfest; beginning as a one-day festival on a Saturday, Wurstfest has grown into a 10 day in which people look forward to throughout the year.
January 1, 2012
Buc-ee’s New Braunfels opens as the world’s largest convenience store. Buc-ee’s is 67,000 square feet and now has 120 fuel pumps.
January 1, 2014
Natural Bridge Caverns celebrates their 50th anniversary.
January 1, 2014
Resolute Hospital opens in Creekside, housing 128 beds.
August 1, 2018
Das Rec (New Braunfels Recreation Center) opens their 77,000 square foot facility. Das Rec hosts a variety of exercise classes, lessons, activities and recreational opportunities for all ages, interests, abilities and skill levels.
January 1, 2019
Schlitterbahn celebrates their 40th anniversary, Rockin’ R River Rides – 40 years, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch – 35 years