New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 22, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Sunday, May 22, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 7 A
RIDING DOWN THE HIGHWAY
Gruene to receive a Harley Davidson store.
Getting a historical look
New Braunfels Walks offers downtown tours
By Leigh Jones
Have you ever wondered what New Braunfels was like IOO years ago?
Where was the grocer, the butcher, the baker? Where did the city’s young folk go to unwind?
Mary Kelley knows, and she is anxious to share her stories with visitors and locals alike.
Beginning June 9, Kelley is offering historical tours through downtown New Braunfels, complete with locally famous landmarks and the occasional ghost story.
As a fourth generation German Texan, Kelley grew up with a love of history and a desire to travel.
The idea for her new business, appropriately called New Braunfels Walks, began on a recent trip to Germany.
"I just got back from a seven-month trip on a Fulbright
Scholarship,” she said. “I took a lot of walking trips through the little towns, and it got me thinking about doing something similar to promote our city’s heritage.”
To prepare for her summer job, Kelley spent hours at the Sophienburg, researching old files on lots from the founding period.
While the city’s heritage is overwhelmingly German, the tours will tell stories from all groups, including Native Americans, Spanish settlers and African-Americans.
The walkers will set out from the New Braunfels Visitor’s Center, wind their way down Seguin Street, down San Antonio Street, around the Plaza and back.
The tours make 33 stops, including landmarks like First Protestant Church, the Plumeyer Bakery and Naegelin’s Bakery.
Kelley promises goose-
bumps from her stories of the Faust Hotel and Prince Solms Inn ghosts.
“Many guests have reported seeing the hotel’s first proprietor, Walter Faust, near the elevators,” she said. “They also report seeing closing doors and moving chairs when no one is around.”
Aware that Texas temperatures are not as accommodating in July and August as they are in the motherland, Kelley has scheduled all tours during the cooler morning hours.
Kelley, who teaches U.S. and Texas history at Beaumont’s Lamar University but spends summers at her home in New Braunfels, said she was looking forward to hearing stories as well as telling them.
AT A GLANCE
■ What: New Braunfels Walks — 90-minute historical tours through downtown
■ When: 8:45 and 10:45 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, June 9-Aug. 15
■ Where:Tours start at New Braunfels Visitor's Center
■ How much: Adults — $12; Seniors, children and students — $10; Children younger than 6-years-old — free
■ For information: www.new-braunfelswalks.com
“I hope to learn as much from the locals as they will learn from me,” she said.
A portion of the proceeds from all tours will go to the Sophienburg Museum.
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Mary Kelley walks around downtown New Braunfels.
wmI (jaunty (beaten.
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A continuing series featuring women of Comal County who make a significant contribution to our community.
Hey kids age 3 yeans - 5th grade. Join as this summer for
Vacation Bible School
June 20-24 6 - 9 pm
First Protestant Church
172 W. Coll St.
Rev. Daryl C. Higgins, Senior Minister
Registration fee $10
Sign up by Jane 5th & receive a FREE CD!
Contact Debra Murray, Director of Childrens Ministries
830-609-7729 ext. 26
Dinner at 5:30 pm (parent must accompany child) Free-will offering requested for meal.