Until I looked around at the Kendall Inn website, I didn’t know how well Boerne had flourished as a health spa and summer resort in four decades after the arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass railroad. The little town on the Cibolo Creek was the summer retreat for wealthy San Antonians, for the families of high-ranking officers stationed at Fort Sam Houston – and for people seeking relief from all kinds of ailments. For a certainty, the Hill Country is usually cooler than the lowlands – and with the flowing creeks and green hills and stands of oak and pecan trees, it was as much a refuge from the big city as it is now.
The Kendall Inn was a part of that, even before the railway made it convenient. The original owners – who built a large house in classical Southern Colonial style out of cut-stone with walls twenty inches thick – often rented extra rooms to travelers and visitors, as there was no other accommodation for them until after the Civil War. The Kendall expanded – with the addition of wings built in the same pillared porch-and-gallery style – and early in the 20th century, the luxury of en-suite bathrooms.
So I was there on Friday last to do a talk for the local chapter of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, on what had gone on in the Hill Country during the Civil War. Quite a few of the members were military retirees, arriving in Texas through the medium of a tour of duty – so the ins and outs of the whole mini-Civil War in Kendall, Gillespie and Kerr Counties was of at least some interest to the group. And I did the talk first, so that the luncheon was something that I could relax and enjoy.
The next big thing on the schedule for me, as far as events will be the Weinachtsmarkt in New Braunfels, November 16-18 at the Civic Center. We did so very well at it last year, that I will have a table for all three days, rather than just Saturday as we did last year. And – I have something new to ornament my official author table; my daughter and I found a model of a covered wagon at a sidewalk sale, which will be perfect to hold items like my business cards and postcards, and informational flyers about my books. Not bad for only $10!