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Old 11-02-2007, 02:08 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,159,872 times
Reputation: 4435

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Just got a nice reply from Ann of the San Antonio Historical Society, she is making a copy of the file for the site, to include the preservation plan, for me. I just need to get by her office and pick it up. I will post what I get.

Cheers! M2
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:48 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,159,872 times
Reputation: 4435
We passed another place I have always loved, the Marnoch House on Scenic Loop road in Helotes...this is the back of the house...

http://www.helotes-tx.gov/vertical/Sites/%7BD1ADF741-406C-40AB-B878-56509A67CE28%7D/uploads/%7B06E45B6B-248C-4CD7-B418-7BFD1A6B6C33%7D.JPG (broken link)

Quote:
The pioneer whose land encompassed what is now Old Town Helotes was Scottish immigrant and surgeon Dr. George F. Marnoch who built a two-and-a-half story limestone house on Scenic Loop Road in 1858. After his death, his son Dr. Gabriel Marnoch, a renowned naturalist and the town doctor, inherited the Marnoch Mansion (which still stands today and is a privately owned residence) and married a local girl, Carmel Treviño. Marnoch heirs sold a portion of the family land that became downtown Helotes to Swiss American Arnold Gugger, who in 1881, built a two-story limestone home (now the Helotes Bicycle Shop) for his bride Amelia “Mollie” Benke. He also built a General Store, now the Old Town Grill, and a small blacksmith shop (no longer standing). These were the first downtown buildings.
Quote:
Through the years, this structure has served as a home to the Marnoch family, a stagecoach stop, and a post office. The current owners of the property have restored it as their home and have worked extremely hard to preserve the history and charm.
I had some pics of the front of the house from when I was biking up Scenic Loop road one day, but I can't find them at the moment...

Cheers! M2

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 12-13-2008 at 12:28 AM.. Reason: copyrighted pic chng'd to link - post links, folks, for copyrighted pictures
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:47 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,159,872 times
Reputation: 4435
Well, first I have learned that the homestead on Braun Road is called the Crenwelge/Braun Farmhouse Complex (not Grenwelge). The Preservation Plan had the history of the homestead, which was worth the time and effort to get a copy of it...

Quote:
German immigrant, Theodore Crenwelge built the stone farmhouse for his bride, Katherine in 1895. Originally the farm consisted of about 156 acres. Corn, maize and oats were the main crops. The stone barn and stone smokehouse/root cellar were built at the same time as the house. In 1918, a distant cousin Ottillie Braun, was killed in a train accident, leaving a husband, Fredrick, and three children, Henry, Bernice and Burton. The oldest child, Henry, stayed with his father while the two younger children, went to live with the Crenwelges. After Mr. Braun remarried, Bernice went back to her birth father’s house, and only young Burton Braun remained with the Crenwelges. Both Crenwelge’s died in 1954, leaving the farm to their nephew Burton Braun. Around 1990, Burton sold the farmland but kept the house and the surrounding 5.8 acres. Due to ailing health, at the age of 86, Burton sold the land to local real estate developer Dallas Doughtry in 2001.

A farm complex includes the house, the barns, and all the out buildings necessary to maintain self-sufficiency. Economics was the primary factor in determining both the building and the sequence of construction. Providing shelter for his family, a farmer would build the house first. Limited cash and limited building materials prescribed what, how, and when farm outbuildings were built. For material in Central Texas oak logs or rock construction was common. Stones or rocks were used most frequently as structural material in areas settled by emigrants from Europe. Most of these ethnic groups by design or chance settled where there was a geological outcropping of rock formations. Their heritage was strong in masonry construction. One must also consider that labor and talents of the builder were the primary inputs into all construction since the material was necessarily of the land.

Rived boards or shingles were the most common roofing material. The substitution of sheets of corrugated tin for covering old and new buildings, began in the early 1900s as a practical choice. Tin was more efficient, easier to lay and relatively cheap. The rural landscape is now scarred with rusty tin roofs hiding the original shingled roofs that have mellowed with age.

To provide protection for crops, the crib or corncrib was needed as much as a barn to shelter the livestock. A multipurpose structure, consequently, serving both these functions was the obvious choice. This building frequently was used for many other functions until resources and time permitted special purpose buildings. This accounts for “barn” being a general term used in referring to all outbuildings in Texas as in other farm cultures.

The first log pen or basic unit of the barn was ordinarily built to the rear of the house close enough for animal distress to be heard. The first outbuilding was most likely to be a crib with an open lean-to being added as soon as possible, depending on the number of farm animals. As the farmer prospered, pens were added on the gable sides of the existing barn.

Horse Stalls and Wagon Sheds: Barns were often limited to two pens. When additional space was needed, supporting barn buildings more specialized in design relating to function was added. Among the first of these was a building that most frequently provided two purposes-stalls for the work-stock and shelter for the wagons. These stalls were designed in a rectangular pen partitioned by log walls in combinations of two, four, etc., since the farmer normally added work-stock in pairs. The gables were slabbed or boarded in. Often with ceiling joists added over the stalls forming a loft used for feed storage. The wagon shed side of this structure was more likely to be enclosed or be made as a separate buildings as people moved westward in the state, particularly in the German settlements.

Other buildings included, blacksmith shop, located near a large shade tree, and a smokehouse. The crib acted as a “potato house” until one could be built. The potato house was the equivalent of a root cellar in other areas of the United States. It served not only as storage for root crops but also as a cool place for storing food preserved in jars and later in cans. One common design of the structure was the dugout. Dug several feet into the earth, the floor was often left uncovered. Rock masonry was common and the thickness of the stones provided insulation.

Based on the preceding information the Crenwelge/Braun Farmhouse provides much insight into a typical Texas farm. Since the three original Braun farm buildings were constructed of stone and the farm was located on 156 acres, Theodore Crewelge must have had access to money and a supply of stone. Based on the masonry construction, Crengwelge was either skilled in masonry construction or someone in the local community was a mason. Evidence of a German community is derived from the 1906 Zion Lutheran Church, located just down the road. The church was donated and attended by American Germans. Also a Hermann Sons Lodge, a German fraternal organization is located on Braun Road.

Upgrades and additional buildings such as the frame shed-roof additions to the stone barn and the various wood “barns” located on the property suggest that the Crengwelges prospered in farming throughout the decades. Today, the 156 acre farm has shrunk to 5.5 acres and suburbia sprouts from the fields surrounding the farmhouse in a sea of asphalt shingles and vinyl siding.
Thanks to the great folks at the San Antonio Historical Preservation Society not only for their efforts in saving such landmarks as the Crenwelge/Braun Farmhouse Complex, but also for sharing this info with me! I hope everyone enjoys the story behind this homestead as much as I did!

Cheers! M2
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Smalltown, USA
3,111 posts, read 8,323,929 times
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Thanks Major~ That is some very interesting stuff, thanks for researching it. I tried to rep you but you know how that goes

I found it interesting in reading about the "barns". We have a 56x30 "barn" which we house our vehicles, golf carts, ATVs, tractors, etc in (and a LOT of junk too ). We have always called it a barn even though it has never housed animals. When people come over and we say something about the "barn" they always ask us why we call it that. So...... I was glad to read that a barn could be any out building.

Thanks again, I will rep you as soon as I "spread it around some more".
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:44 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,159,872 times
Reputation: 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormadmax View Post
Well, first I have learned that the homestead on Braun Road is called the Crenwelge/Braun Farmhouse Complex (not Grenwelge)...

Cheers! M2
OK, I now think the Historical Preservation Society has this screwed up, as my son and I were just Jeeping by the Mt Zion Lutheran cemetery on Leslie Road and noticed the headstone for Theodore and Katherine Grenwelge! I am sending them an email to correct it.

CHeers! M2
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:45 AM
 
3 posts, read 10,638 times
Reputation: 13
Default braun homestead

My cousin lived in that house when he was young and newly married in the 80s. He & his wife rented it for several years. I understand that it has been sold from the original owner and is supposed to be relocated. I'm glad to see that the house has been saved. My husband and I lived in a very similiar house at 9550 FM 471 at it was bulldozed & is buried under a subdivision. When I was back in SA visting we went by & saw a massives pile of limestone rubble. It was a shame because it was an amazing place. German woodwork, a hidden cistern and huge made of huge limestone blocks.That homestead actually had tiny rifle windows in the basement of one of the barns.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:18 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,159,872 times
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Too cool! Our house in Germany was similar, it had 18" brick walls and originally was a house and a barn combined. The owners renovated it into a house only; but you could still tell where the original barn door was from the outside (now the living room). There was a local sights sign in the middle of our village that had a picture of it, describing how it was a typical Pfalzisch house of the region. As such, we'd get a lot of people driving by taking pictures. Unfortunately, I am in a few of them washing my BMW without a shirt, and after some time in Germany, I was no Aztec sun god! I am sure people grimace when they look at those pics now; but at least my image is captured for all eternity!

Thanks for the info on the house, I wish I could get in there and check it out.

Cheers! M2
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:42 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
394 posts, read 1,377,449 times
Reputation: 248
Glad to see this post pop to the top as I drive by that house (and strip center behind) at 1604/Braun several times a week. I commented to DH the other day about it and it's great to hear the history. When I have some time I would love to find a book on some history of the area so I can appreciate SA even more. Anyone know of a book that might be a good coffee table book that one could pick up and read a little now and then and also have on hand for visitors??
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:13 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,787 times
Reputation: 10
Default read your ???????

sooo the house on braun in actually MR. Braun's old home thus being braun RD or that's what I've always known for years!!!
1604's I can't really say although I have a friend who literally lives across 1604 in the back behind the animal refuge and zion church... they have old structures up on their property too. family ranch for years ..but the old structures are smoke houses from a long time ago!!!
Here's something to think about though on Braun Rd that elementary..before they built it there used to be a little neighborhood like a culisac almost... A long time ago I heard about it but no one ever knew it was there because It was hidden ....way back there used to be a chain link fence and it had alot of viens growning ..... Alot of people never knew it existed. they tore it all down and now there's that elemantry school. The funny thing is long ago too I had friends that would say that the houses that are still there that are actually still part of the neighborhood had been haunted and people kept moving out... later on I found out about that secrect old neighbohood.... and it all made sense.... I've seen it with my own eye's ...I live In that neihgborhood behind it. I still don't know the whole story on that little secret codesac but i dying to find out!!!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,352 times
Reputation: 10
Default I know about this house!!!

My grandmother was a Marnoch and told me stories of how they used to shoot indians and turkeys from the top windows back in the day. She had a picture of this house in her bedroom for more years than I am alive. I have many many pictures from her and her husband, George F Marnoch, from Helotes I believe. The Trevino family is in these pictures too! Also have pics of old Helotes Church.... She passed away at 96 yrs old (born 1911).

If anyone is interested or has more information, please [mod]email address removed - use DM to contact OP[/mod]

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 12-13-2008 at 12:31 AM.. Reason: Per ToS, It's a bad idea to post email address because of web crawlers/spammers - request contact by DM instead.
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