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 Public School - class of 1908 1908 - in/near Boerne
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.
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.
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.
A facility used for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB). One of the founders of this sanitarium was Dr. Ferdinand Herff, a prominent early German settler in Boerne. Dr. Herff was instrumental in getting the railroad from San Antonio to Boerne which would help get his patients to Boerne. Boerne was a center for the treatment of TB due to its fresh air as at this point there were no antibiotics for TB. This building was torn down in 1930.
Main Plaza Gezebo in 1875 At this time Boerne was a health resort area due to the springs and the fresh air. Main plaza and the Gezebo being the center of activity of visitors and weekends for Boerne's farmers and ranchers.
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.
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.