Arriving in Texas in the mid-1840's, German farmers became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene, Texas. A German immigrant, Ernst Gruene, and his bride Antoinette, had reached the newly established city of New Braunfels in 1845, but acreage was scarce. Thus, Ernst and his two sons purchased land just down river and Ernst built the first home in Gruene in early fachwerk style. His second son, Henry D. Gruene, built his home and planted his surrounding land with cotton. Having become the number one cash crop, the cotton business soon brought 20 to 30 families to Gruene's land.
Gruene built houses in various styles - a Victorian cottage, a large brick home, and a frame house for the foreman of his farm. The first mercantile store was built in 1878 and a cotton gin powered by the Guadalupe River was added soon after. Further contruction during this profitable time included a dance hall and saloon - Gruene Hall - which became the center of the community's social life.
As the town continued to prosper, a new mercantile building sprange up in 1904. However, the death of Henry D. in 1920 marked the downfall of Gruene's development and good fortune. In 1922, the original cotton gin burned and was replaced down the road by a modern electric model. Yet, the economic disasters of the boll weevil and the Depression were too much for the family businesses and they went under, except for Gruene Hall, which never closed.
It was not until 1974-75, when much of the Gruene estate was sold, that new purchasers arrived. New businesses were established and all of Gruene was place on the National Register of Historical Places. Today, Gruene is once again a thriving community, and as citizens of Gruene, we welcome you to come out and walk around; enjoy our rich history. But most of all, enjoy your visit.
Come visit us in New Braunfels, Texas