Bulverde – A Colorful Past and a Bright Future
Present day Bulverde looks quite different from the black and white photos that illustrate its past. Yet the independent spirit of the Native Americans, pioneers and European immigrants who established the city remains. This diverse inheritance has provided the foundation for the thriving community it is today.
The region’s first residents were Paleo-Indians who arrived in approximately 950 A.D. In the 1740s, Comanche Indians migrated into Texas after taking control of the region from the Lipan Apaches and the Tonkawas a few decades earlier.
Early immigrant settlements appeared following the annexation of Texas into the United States in 1845, initiating land grabs in the Bulverde Spring Branch area. In fact, in 1850 the village was named Pieper Settlement, after Anton Pieper, an immigrant from Hanover, Germany. Germans comprised the majority of the population for several decades, and their cultural influence on the region made an indelible mark.
Changes to the community began when a new post office was constructed in 1880 bearing the name of an early landowner, Luciano Bulverdo. The name Pieper Settlement quickly faded into the past.
In the period between 1996 and 1999, five separate municipalities were incorporated and combined to stop the northern growth of San Antonio. Together they formed the City of Bulverde.
Yet, Bulverde officials are staying true to the community’s roots. The City’s Comprehensive Plan, a long-range guide for the future growth of the City and surrounding area, provides direction for strategic development.
Strong in its diverse culture, Bulverde continues to be a unique community known as the Front Porch of the Hill Country.
Spring Branch – Founded 1852, Preserved 2015
The story of Spring Branch echoes the chronicles of brave Native Americans and immigrants from Europe. Staying true to its colorful history, Spring Branch maintains a distinct culture.
In 1836, the area became attractive to German settlers who immigrated under the auspice of the Adelsverein (Society for the Protection of German Immigration). Many made the trek from Indianola up to New Braunfels and then into the Texas Hill Country. Germans and other European settlers purchased their land from holders of Spanish or Mexican land grants or from land speculators.
These new settlements developed as post offices along postal routes connected San Antonio and other small communities in the Hill Country. One emerged along the Guadalupe River at a nearby spring in Western Comal County called Spring Branch Creek.
The community of Spring Branch was founded in 1852, and by 1856, families by the names of Knibbe, Elbel, Porter, Horne, Fuhrmann and Imhoff were living along the creek.
A post office opened in 1858, and Louis Wilke served as its first postmaster. Dr. Charles Porter constructed the first mill and acted as the settlement’s first store owner. Boasting a cotton gin, general store, mills, a school, and a blacksmith’s shop, the Spring Branch settlement owes much of its history to its founding families.
Spring Branch became an official city on November 19, 2015, when the Comal County Commissioners Court confirmed a citizen vote for incorporation. Spring Branch was vital to the survival and economy of Comal County in its early years and remains so today.