In 1852 Gustav Theissen and John James laid out the town site and named it Boerne in honor of Ludwig Boerne, a German author and publicist. Boerne developed the reputation of having a very healthful environment and quickly became a health resort with the arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway in 1887.
Boerne Livery 1920s This was an important point in time between using horses for transportation and the automobile. A trip to San Antonio by cart would take a day then you'd spend the next day in San Antonio then take another day to get back to Boerne.
Built in 1888 with opera being the popular entertainment of the times. As vaudeville (comedic acts, song and dance/burlesque) became popular the Opera House became a vaudeville stage and was renamed the Plaza Theatre. As the "talkie" pictures became popular vaudeville faded and the Opera House became a movie theater. In 1966 the Opera House was torn down and the Ebner Pharmacy built their shop there. This photo (1910) shows the Boerne Gesang Verein singing club - that was begun to compliment the Boerne German band.
Boerne Public School - class of 1908
School built 1874 This was the first school - all grades were taught together and was in German not English. Zoom into this photo to see the bare feet and Victorian clothing at the time.
This resort / home still stands today and was recently renovated to the times of its prime. Originally built as the home for Joseph Phillip. Some years after his death it became a hotel. As the German community used Ye Kendall Inn on the north side of Boerne as their resort area the English used the Phillip Manor as their resort area. Teddy Roosevelt stayed here while he was assembling his Rough Riders.
The early German residents of Boerne would have their children first attend a local Catholic school for one or two years to be trained to learn about their religion. Holy Angels Academy began it's schooling in 1899. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word began the schools and also the medical facilities (sanitariums) in the Boerne area. This building was torn down in 1930.
Boerne Village Band - 1890 This is the oldest continuous German band outside of Germany that still plays outdoor concerts each summer in the Boerne park. Music was very important to the German settlers - many bringing their instruments with them when they came from Germany.