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SOPHIENBURG MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES

SOPHIENBURG MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES. The Sophienburg Museum and Archives is located in New Braunfels on the historic site where Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels established the headquarters of the Adelsverein in 1845. The verein, otherwise known as the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, was established to form a German colony in Texas. Prince Carl was to establish a colony on the Fisher-Miller land grant. Because of the Comanche Indian threat and the distance from headquarters to the Fisher-Miller grant he chose instead, however, to purchase a temporary site on the Comal River-1,265 acres, which he acquired for $1,111. The verein went bankrupt in 1847, and the headquarters fell into disuse. In 1926 a group of interested citizens purchased the historic site and in 1933 incorporated themselves as a memorial association chartered by the state of Texas. Artifacts soon filled the small museum, which was also used as a library for the city. A separate library building was opened in 1938 and used until 1969, when a new library was built by the city and the old library reverted to the museum and became the archives. The museum and archives is a nonprofit organization supported by admission fees, donations, trust funds, and city funds from the hotel-motel tax. The museum and archives is governed by a nine-member board of trustees serving no more than two three-year terms and has a hired director. Museum exhibits are planned by the director and a volunteer exhibit chairman. The archives houses copies of Prince Carl's correspondence with the Adelsverein. County and city government papers are housed in the archives as well, along with a collection of some 300,000 photographic negatives available for research. The Sophienburg is a member of the Texas Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Oscar Haas, History of New Braunfels and Comal County, Texas, 1844–1946 (Austin: Steck, 1968). Sister Joan of Arc, "The Sophienburg Museum," American-German Review 11 (February 1945). New Braunfels Herald, June 23, 1933. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Clyde T. Blackman

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Clyde T. Blackman, "SOPHIENBURG MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lbs02), accessed September 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.