Land records show that by the early 1850s, the area around future Boerne had caught the eye of many of the German immigrants. John James and Gustav Theisen recognized the increasing desirability of Texas Hill Country real estate. They acquired a fairly large piece of land just a few miles north of Balcones Creek, near the confluence of Cibolo Creek and Frederick Creek. They divided almost one square mile of it into smaller lots and planned an entire town, naming it “Boerne” after a well-known German intellectual, Karl Ludwig Börne. Of note, Börne had written about a unifi ed Germany, human rights, freedom, and equality, but did not write about America or even set foot on its soil. The abundance of water, fish, game, and timber were all selling points for prospective buyers. The beauty of the land, the cooler temperature of the hills, the pure air, and the proximity to nearby trade routes made the area even more desirable
Boerne business: the early years
In order to nurture the new community, early Boerne businesses were geared towards survival and followed the principles of supply and demand. They included the Staffel Store, the Dietert Sawmill/Gristmill/Dam, the Theis Blacksmith Shop (pictured below), and the Fabra Meat Market. Boerne’s location along an existing trade route brought travelers, merchants, stagecoaches, cattle drives, and wagon carriers who could pen their livestock, and park their wagons in the Public Square, now known as Main Plaza.