Comal County is a county located on the divide between the Blackland Prairies and the Balcones Escarpment. The largest city and the county seat is New Braunfels. Some of the county's most notable features are the Guadalupe River, Cibolo Creek and Canyon Lake.
New Braunfelswas founded in 1845 by Prince Charles de Solms-Braunfels, commissioner general of the Adelsverein of Mainzer, also known as the Society of Nobles.
Prince Carl named the settlement after his home in Solms-Braunfels, Germany. The land was located northeast of San Antonio, on the Royal Texas Trail, and had the strong fresh water springs of Comal, known as Las Fontanas, when the Germans arrived. It was approximately halfway between Indianola and the lower parts of the Fisher-Miller land grant. The first settlers forded the Guadalupe River on Good Friday, March 21, 1845, near the current Fausto Street bridge.
As the spring of 1845 progressed, the colonists built the Zinkenburg, a fort named after Adelsverein's civil engineer, Nicolaus Zink, divided the land and began building houses and planting crops. Prince Carl would also lay the cornerstone of Sophienburg, a permanent fort and a center for the immigrant association. In 1844, Prince Charles was so disillusioned with the logistics of colonization that he asked the Vereins to remove him as commissioner-general and appoint a successor. Meusebach arrived, finances were in disarray, due in part to Prince Carl's lack of business experience and his refusal to keep financial records.
To a greater extent, the financial situation occurred because the Adelsverein were an organization of nobles with no practical experience in business management. They were on the other side of the world and did not witness the situation faced by both Prince Carl and Meusebach. Henry Francis Fisher had not provided transportation or supplies for which the Vereins had advanced money. Meusebach found Prince Charles in Galveston while trying to return to Germany, detained by authorities for unpaid bills.
Meusebach paid the debts, so Prince Carl was able to leave. Cappes invited Henry Francis Fisher to New Braunfels, even though Fisher was not entirely trustworthy by the Vereins. On February 11, 1845, Fisher had participated in the coercion of newly arrived immigrants to sign documents stating their intention to leave the Verein and align themselves with Fisher's friend, Dr. Friedrich Schubbert, also known as Friedrich Strubberg.
Meusebach stabilized the community's finances and encouraged settlers to establish more neighboring communities. The largest of these secondary settlements was Fredericksburg, 80 miles (130 km) northwest of New Braunfels. New Braunfels is located in southeastern Comal County. The city is 32 miles (51 km) northeast of downtown San Antonio, 19 miles (31 km) southwest of San Marcos and 48 miles (77 km) southwest of Austin.
New Braunfels has a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and generally mild winters. Temperatures range from 27.8°C (100°F) in summer to 9.4°C (49°F) in winter. In New Braunfels, July and August are the warmest months, with an average high of 95°F (35°C). May, June and October have a lot of precipitation.
The average annual rainfall was 35.74 inches (908 mm). NBISD operates several schools in New Braunfels. The city holds Wurstfest, a German-style sausage festival, every November, which is based on the city's strong German heritage. Every December, the city celebrates Wassailfest in the historic center.
New Braunfels attracts a large number of tourists, especially in summer due to the cold water rivers that run through the city. Many generations of families and university students return every summer to travel kilometers by subway along the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. New Braunfels is the site of the original water park, the Schlitterbahn WaterPark Resort. Ernest Eikel Skate Park attracts many skate board enthusiasts.
Unicorn Stadium, with a capacity of 10,000 people, is the largest sports stadium by capacity in New Braunfels. It opened in 1927 and is mainly used for American football and soccer. The venue also has an athletics track. The other newspaper publisher serving the city of New Braunfels is the TX Citizen, formerly a citizen of NB.
Comal County is part of the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. New Braunfels is often considered a vacation destination. While it doesn't have its own university, it has a distinctive college town feel, probably due to the large number of students from nearby universities in San Antonio and San Marcos. As the name suggests, it has a German heritage, and many of the local attractions take advantage of it.
Most of the city's income comes from tourism attracted by incredible rivers, including the Comal River, which is the shortest river in the world, located entirely within the city limits. To keep pace with this growth and the ensuing social changes, New Braunfels reorganized its municipal government twice in the 20th century, replacing the original council form in 1920 with the system of mayors and commissions and, later, replacing it with a form of councillors and administrators. New Braunfels, Galveston and Fredricksburg were among the first cities in Texas to collect taxes to support schools. Private high schools are the New Braunfels Christian Academy, a K-12 institution, and the Calvary Baptist Academy.
They camped at a site in Comal Creek (now Dry Comal Creek) chosen by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, the first commissioner general of Adelsverein, and quickly organized to welcome those who arrived later. Tourism combined with the continued vitality of the city's industrial sector to maintain an approximately 30 percent increase in the population of New Braunfels for several decades after World War II. Meusebach discovered that Prince Carl's choice of the inadequate Carlshafen (Indianola) as a port of entry, as well as of the isolated route to New Braunfels, was deliberately chosen to prevent Germans from interacting with any American. Among them are Nathan Macías, a businessman from Bulverde, Carter Casteel, a former Comal County judge and lawyer from New Braunfels, and Doug Miller, former mayor of New Braunfels.
The Neu Braunfelser Zeitung, which published its first edition in 1852, was continuously published in German until 1957; it later merged with the English-language newspaper New Braunfels Herald. The Germans from New Braunfels, a sociable group, also organized the German Singing Society, the Schuetzen Verein, a shooting club and one of the first Turnvereins or athletic clubs. A decade after its founding, New Braunfels had emerged as a manufacturing center that supplied wagons, agricultural implements, leather goods, furniture and clothing for pioneers who settled in the hills of central Texas. Taking advantage of the reliable hydraulic power offered by Comal Springs and the community's position on the highway between Austin and San Antonio, settlers wasted little time establishing the supply and processing businesses (stores, factories and craft shops) that soon turned New Braunfels into the commercial center of a growing agricultural area.