The Henne Hardware Building
It was a rainy day in New Braunfels when we arrived, but in spite of the weather we wanted to learn something about this Texas town with the German heritage.
After dropping by the 'Downtown Antiques' shop, we continued down San Antonio Street, noticing this large building across the street.
The paint is weathered, but it still announces the identity of this building in barely visible letters near the roofline--Henne Hardware.
This building was constructed in 1893 and is still being used today as a hardware.
Frontier Life in New Braunfels
Since we're recent transplants from New Jersey, we're eager to learn all about our new state! The early years of Texas have always seemed so wild and different to us living on the East coast.
The Sophienburg Museum gave us a look at early frontier life in Texas. According to town history, following the departure of Prince Solms, New Braunfels saw more settlers arriving in 1846. Unfortunately, their timing was not good for the following reasons...
Texas joined the United States of America in 1845, meaning there was little hope of establishing an official German principality.
Although they had negotiatied with oxcart teamsters to haul their goods inland, the Spanish American war broke out and they were left high and dry.
Rain was making traveling very difficult, so they were not able to proceed as they had liked and cholera ran quickly through the ranks causing several hundred deaths.
Happily, by 1850 New Braunfels stabilized, the community's finances became secure, the town began to thrive and at one time was the fourth largest city, following Galveston, San Antonio and Houston.
Please see additional photos: picture#2--oldtime conveyance and picture#3--depiction of a typical saloon
A Gruesome Tale
For a bit of gruesome tale. In the Guadalupe River area cannibalism thrived in the 1840s and on the nights of May 4 and 5, 1845, Tonkawa Indians apparently consumed the cooked and fried flesh of a Waco Indian. Tonkawa squaws boasted to a a number of settlers they met pounding their stomachs and grinningly saying they hoped by eating the warriors flesh their off-spring would be as brave as the Waco warrior had been.