Thursday, June 9, 2011

~Touring Gruene~











"Gruene (pronounced “green”) is a town in Comal County, Texas. Once a significant cotton-producing community along the Guadalupe River, the economy is now supported primarily by tourism. Gruene lies entirely within the city limits of New Braunfels. Much of Gruene was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 21, 1975.  Gruene's history begins in 1872 when 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. He built his house and planted his surrounding land with cotton. In 1878, Gruene opened a mercantile store to serve the several dozen or so families sharecropping on his land. The town benefitted by its location along the stagecoach route between Austin and San Antonio, the store thrived for many years and stimulated local commercial growth. Gruene Hall opened in 1878, and the Thorn Hill School and three large cotton gins soon followed. By the time the International-Great Northern Railroad was built across Comal County in the 1880s the small community was bustling with commercial and farming activity. By 1900, Gruene was a prominent banking, ginning, and shipping center for area cotton farming. Though it never had a post office of its own, the community did possess two freight rail stations by the 1910s. Gruene was decimated, however, by the boll weevil blight of the 1920s, and further doomed by the effects of the Great Depression. By 1930 the population had fallen to 75, and post World War II highway construction bypassed the town. By 1950 Gruene was essentially abandoned and had become a ghost town. As a result of the restoration of area structures, such as the Gruene Hall and old mercantile store, Gruene began a re-birth of sorts in the early 1970s. Redevelopment and restoration of the area continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s and today, and though no longer an autonomous community (it was annexed by New Braunfels in 1979), Gruene maintains a thriving tourist business. Many original structures from the town's heyday still exist, including the Gruene Family Home, a Victorian-style edifice built in 1872 which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and today operates as the Gruene Mansion Inn. A historic water tower rises above Gruene Hall, and other buildings at the heart of the district have been renovated into shops and restaurants." 
~above taken from www.wikipedia.com~

~Tubing the Comal~




The Comal River is the shortest navigable river in the state ofTexas and in the United States. Proclaimed the "longest shortest river in the world" by locals, it runs entirely within the city limits of New Braunfels in southeast Comal County. It is a tributary of the Guadalupe River. The Comal begins at Comal Springs in Landa Park and flows 2.5 miles until its junction with the Guadalupe.  The Comal was originally called the Little Guadalupe in early Spanish accounts. After Spaniard Pedro de Rivera y Villal√≥n identified the longer river as the Guadalupe in 1727, the Comal was given its current name. The name means basin or flat dish in Spanish.  The river is also one of only two rivers to host the fountain darter, a fish now in danger of extinction. The only other river inhabited by the darter is the nearby San Marcos River.
~above taken from www.wikipedia.com~