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The City of Bulverde is known as The Front Porch of the Texas Hill Country and is proud to be a Certified Scenic City. Bulverde is in a picturesque place of rolling hills and valleys with clusters of majestic live oak trees. It is only a few miles from Canyon Lake, one of the premier water recreational attractions in the state, the Honey Creek Recreational Area and Guadalupe State Park.

about bulverde _ drawing of map

The City of Bulverde is located in Comal County in the State of Texas. Bulverde is 19 miles west of New Braunfels and 22 miles north of downtown San Antonio. The city is at the crossroads location of U.S. Highway 281, State Highway 46, and Farm/Market 1863, and is thus easily accessible to the rest of the San Antonio Metropolitan Area and other surrounding cities, including Johnson City and Austin to the north, Boerne, Comfort and Kerrville to the west, and New Braunfels and Garden Ridge to the east. It is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which consists of the four counties of Bexar, Wilson, Comal, and Guadalupe.

Since 2000, Bulverde’s population has grown by nearly 33 percent.  And the population of Comal County, where Bulverde and Spring Branch are located, is on a steady climb as well. According to the United States Census Bureau, the county’s population has grown more than 9% since 2010. With projections that San Antonio’s footprint will double in size in the next 25 years, and its population will swell by one million residents in that same time frame, Bulverde/Spring Branch can expect more folks will want to escape the bustle of a growing metropolitan area for hometown-style living in Texas Hill Country.

Bulverde lies approximately 1,096 feet above mean sea level and encompasses 9.6 square miles of land in the Edwards Plateau. At a latitude of 29.75 degrees above the equator the area enjoys mild weather conditions throughout the year with an average high/low temperature in July of 92/73°F and in January of 68/41°F. The growing season is 265 days and the average number of days of sunshine per year is L Community Profile Bulverde situated within Comal County 1-2 June 19 300. Annual precipitation averages 30 to 33 inches per year. There are two soil types in the area:

  • the Brackett-Comfort-Real which are shallow, undulating to steep soils over limestone or strongly cemented chalk, and
  • in the lower elevations on stream terraces and valley fills, the Lewisville-Gruene-Krum which are nearly level to gently sloping soils over loamy, clayey, and gravelly sediments.

Wildlife, including deer, turkey and quail are abundant in the area.

Local History

The history of the Bulverde area begins over two thousand years ago. Archeological evidence indicates that Paleo-Indians lived well off the land along the Cibolo Creek where there was plentiful wild game and water. In the mid-1700’s Comanches took control of the region from the Lipan Apaches and Tonkawas, bringing with them a rich vocabulary for describing geographic features such as elevation, bodies of water, and vegetation. In 1785 Spanish emissaries Pedro Vidal and Francisco Xavier Chaves noted that the Comanches understood how to use and move about the land “to avoid detection from their enemies.”

One Tejana and three Tejanos were the first families to live in the Bulverde area, as documented in the Residents of Texas 1782 – 1806 stored in the Alamo Archives. The Spanish words Tejano and Tejana describe the citizens of the former province of Tejas, New Spain, or the Texas section of the State of Coahuila y Tejas in the Republic of Mexico. These names were changed to Texian by Mirabeau Lamar, the first president of the Republic of Texas.

The original Tejana was Guadalupe Herrera, a widow and prosperous landowner. Her accomplishments were remarkable for a woman in that era. A school in Bulverde was named after her, and some of the foundation stones of the school are plainly visible off Bulverde Road near the Cave property. One of the original Tejanos was Juan Manuel Rivas who was granted a Bexar First Class Headright and prospered as a farmer. Another was Agapito Gaytan who was listed in the Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution and granted 640 acres since he was a single man. The third Tejano, and the man whose name may be the origin of Bulverde, was Luciano Bulverda whose headright was 320 acres in the Cibolo Valley. By 1845 all four surveys had been purchased by William H. Steele and Ludovic Colquhound, most likely for speculative purposes.

Over the past two thousand years many roads paralleled the alignment of the Cibolo Creek. Today Farm/Market Road 1863 traces one of the more popular routes used by migrants traveling from New Braunfels to Boerne and Fredericksburg. Seventeen miles west of New Braunfels, the road traversed the upper reaches of Cibolo Creek where the valley widened.

In the years following the annexation of Texas into the United States the area was settled by German immigrants with names of Pieper, Schulmier, Voges, Rompel, Vogel, Koch and Wehe. The present-day Bulverde was originally called "Pieper’s Settlement" after one of these early settlers, August Pieper. Ben Smithson was the first settler in what is now called Smithson Valley, and was soon joined by families named Busch, Kuehn, Groencke, Gass, Spangenberg, Loeffler, Seegers, Ohlrich and Penshorn. After 1885, quite a few surveys were sold and more German immigrants moved into the area: Grosser, Saur, Simon, Georg, Doeppenschmidt and Fink.

The very first homes were constructed of hewn post oak and cedar logs. Later homes were built of mostly quarried stone, and of the eight original homes built in this style five remain: the Pieper, Voges, Obst, Poss and Hitzfelder homes.

There was widespread sheep and goat ranching. The primary crops were corn, oats, wheat, and barley, but after the 1870s cotton became king. Drought was a recurring problem, and the first record of well drilling was in 1877. Cattle rustling and horse thieving were common and called the “custom of the county” in an 1878 Herald article. Cattle were considered communal property, and no one was convicted prior to 1878. To combat rustling, groups of ranchers organized the Germania Farmer Verein with the G brand. Around this time Gustav Schmidt built the first cotton gin in the area, but by 1915 the boll weevil had destroyed the cotton business.

The area’s first store, a quarried stone structure, was established around 1873 by Henry Voges, Jr. The original building was destroyed in 1969 by fire and a new one built on the same site. The next store was built by Charles Groenke. In 1887 Friedolin’s store was built. First known as the Red and White, this is presently the location of Specht’s Store and Restaurant.

Between 1850 and 1890 many rock walls were built in the area. They were laid dry and shimmed with chips. In the late 1920s and through the 1930s many of these lovely stone fences were sold by ranchers for extra income. The building style that used fieldstone had become popular in the area. Also, many miles of these fences were used as fill for widening of what became Farm/Market 1863.

At one time six schools served the area, but in 1944 all of them were torn town for construction of a consolidated school at the corner of Bulverde-Spring Branch Road and Amman Road. After the Great Depression many of the original farmers and ranchers left the area, and after World War II San Antonians and other urbanites started moving into the area.

The present-day city was formed from five separate incorporated cities requiring twenty-two elections beginning in 1996 to eventually become one united city. In 1998, Bulverde North and Bulverde West requested consolidation with Bulverde South. In 1999, Bulverde East and in 2000 Bulverde Northwest followed suit. On May 11, 1999, the Board of Alderman of Bulverde South changed the name of the city to the City of Bulverde.

Present Day, Looking to The Future

As evidenced by its historical beginnings, the present-day City of Bulverde developed along the Cibolo and Honey Creeks in an area of exceptional beauty and was built up by people willing to work hard and raise families under sometimes difficult conditions. The beauty of the area continues to beckon those looking for a more promising life, something that is especially important in today’s fast-paced world.

The future is promising, but, with the rapid influx of new people, it is very challenging too. Roads, water, clean air, open space and many, many other issues will need to be addressed head-on. We have an enviable and unique combination of assets that must be protected, furthered, enhanced, and strengthened with sound planning as we proceed into the future. As a young city, we have a chance to make our dreams a reality.