Vintage photos show what New Braunfels looked like 100+ years ago

See what Landa Park looked like in the 1920s

Water parade on Landa Lake, Landa Park, New Braunfels, Texas, early 1920s. Photograph shows people on the lakeside watching boats decorated for the parade. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The city of New Braunfels was founded in 1845 and is known for its German heritage.

Just a 40-minute drive from downtown San Antonio, New Braunfels has long been a popular destination for recreational enthusiasts.

The Comal River and Landa Park are two of the town’s more popular destinations for visitors but there are actually 41 parks located within New Braunfels city limits.

From the 10-day salute to sausage festival known as Wurstfest to the world-renowned Schlitterbahn Waterpark, it’s no wonder New Braunfels was among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau.

While the population might be booming, photos from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s special digital collections show New Braunfels as far back as the 1870s.

Photograph shows the two story Guadalupe Hotel (later Schmitz Hotel) and the one-story frame house (later store) built for Jean Jacques von Coll. Guadalupe Hotel and Von Coll house on west side of Plaza, New Braunfels, circa 1870. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Men shooting into the Comal River, 1878. Photograph shows left half of stereograph with view of men standing on bluff shooting down towards the river. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Bird's-eye view of the plaza during 50th Anniversary Celebration, New Braunfels. Photograph shows the crowd gathered around a triumphal arch erected for the occasion. In front are band and people in German costume. Behind them are parade floats, people on horseback, people in wagons, and spectators. May 1895. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Parade float "Germania" in 50th Anniversary Celebration Parade, New Braunfels. Photograph shows parade float on plaza with Schmitz Hotel in background on left. May 13, 1895. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Photograph shows young women leaning against a railing constructed of cedar at Landa Park in New Braunfels. San Antonio residents Regina Beckmann (third from right) and Helena Guenther (second from right) are among the group. Circa 1907. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Joe Pierson Landa (left) and Harry Landa with stringer of fish, Camp Placid, Landa Park, New Braunfels. 1922 June 14. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Photograph shows the swimming area outside the hotel, dining, and bathhouse facility in Landa Park. 1920 - 1925 (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Photograph shows rooftops of the Landa Milling Company buildings as seen from atop the company sign. Comal River during floodstage in center. April 21, 1926 (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
Floodwaters on grounds of Landa Milling Company, New Braunfels. Photograph shows view looking towards the three-story stone building with floodwaters in foreground. 1926 April 21 (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
South (front) elevation of the Klein-Naegelin House, 511 S. Seguin Ave, New Braunfels, Texas, 1936. Photograph shows the front of the half-timber frame (''fackwerk'') and stucco house that was built around 1846. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)
West (front) and north elevation of Phillip Schmidt House, 354 Bridge Street, New Braunfels, Texas, 1936. Photograph shows the front and side of the house, with steep gable roof, that was built prior to 1855.;Photograph is part of the Historic American Buildings Survey. Library of Congress Call Number is HABS, TEX, 46-NEBRAU, 3-1. (UTSA Special Digital Collections)

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.