Gruene Historical District is located within the city limits of New Braunfels. Founded by the sons of settlers Ernst and Antoinette Gruene, the community had a bank, post office, school, general store, lumberyard, gristmill, dance hall, and cotton gin. It also had access to two railways for shipping cotton bales. Its most famous attribute was the dance hall, a family activity in those days. Due to the failure of the cotton crop from boll weevils, and the failure of the banks after 1929, commercial activity slowed to a crawl. This village is now a Nationally Registered Historic District where one can dine in the ruins of the original gristmill or enjoy live music at Gruene Hall. The community may also be researched through the Sophienburg Museum and Archives.
We floated the Guadalupe River all day, and then went to dinner and shopping in Gruene’s shops. I took my son when he was nineteen to Gruene Hall to watch the “Fabulous Thunderbirds” live on stage for his birthday. I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, and he told me to go listen to the band that night. So, we did. It was great. We had a blast together. I drank Dr. Pepper while he drank mixed drinks. We laughed about how I got him drunk, and I was “stone cold” sober. George Strait played here many times years ago. I did not get to see him though.
New Braunfels (i/ˌnjuː ˈbrɔːnfəlz/ new BRAWN-fəlz) is a city in Comal and Guadalupe counties in the U.S. state of Texas. It is the seat of Comal County and is a principal city of the San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan statistical area. The city’s population was 57,740 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 70,543 in 2015.