a Pecan Shell
the man who surveyed New
Braunfels for Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels is credited with
founding the town. The name comes from Sister Creek. The tiny
population grew with the arrival of "Forty-Eighters" - dissidents
(many of them intellectuals) leaving Europe after a failed revolution.
Frederick Law Olmsted (noted landscape architect and creator of NYC's
Central Park) visited Sisterdale on his cross-country trip. Sisterdale
was granted a post office in 1851.
The community was open on its anti-slavery and pro-Union policies
- it's relative isolation probably protecting it from Confederate
reprisals. When the war was over, Sisterdale lived in blissful tranquility
- its population comprised of an estimated 150 people (1884).
Sisterdale had a store, gin and a factory for making Cypress shingles
- an important industry at that time.
In 1914 there were only 25 residents which doubled by the mid-20s.
In 1968 the estimate was sixty-three - the same number that appears
on the 2010 state map.
Landmarks - Photo Gallery:
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, December 2007
schoolhouse in 2002
| Sisterdale Dancehall
Photo courtesy Michael
Barr August 2016
Sisterdale by Michael Barr
"The earliest settlers in Sisterdale drank fine wine from tinkling
glasses. They listened to Mozart played on the piano in the library
lined with classical literature. Their lively after dinner conversation,
mostly in Latin, turned to Voltaire, Kant, Goethe, and Hegel.
The scene was surreal and without parallel on the Texas frontier
where most settlers lived a dark, meager existence...." more
Seimering and the Forty-Eighters by Michael Barr
"... The Forty-Eighters supported the democratic revolution that
swept across Europe in the 1840s. But the revolution failed, leaving
the Forty-Eighters between a rock and a hard place.
About 4,000 Forty-Eighters came to the United States. About 100 came
to Texas. Most of them, including August Siemering, settled in Sisterdale.
Joining him were such notables as Otto von Behr - the son of a German
prime minister, Carl Daniel Adolph Douai - the man who introduced
the kindergarten system to the U.S. and Edgar Gerhard Julius Ludwig
von Westphalen - the son of a Prussian Baron and Karl Marx's brother-in-law...."
County 1907 postal map showing Sisterdale
From Texas state map #2090
Texas General Land Office
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact