Kendall County is located to the north of San Antonio, and is bisected by IH-10. It is named for George Wilkins Kendall, who served variously as a soldier and newspaper correspondent in the Republic of Texas’s abortive expedition to take Santa Fe.
Kendall also was instrumental in the development of sheep ranching in the Texas Hill Country. The county seat is Boerne, which was originally called Tusculum, when it was founded in 1849 by German freethinkers who had immigrated to the Hill Country as part of the Adelsverein Texas entrepreneur scheme. The countryside is rolling and hilly; stock-raising and farming were the main industries.
The Guadalupe River drains much of the area from west to east; other riverine/natural features include the Blanco River and Cibolo Creek, which runs through Boerne. While being within a comfortable commuting distance of northern San Antonio Boerne is a Hill Country destination, with a monthly farmer’s market held on the pecan-tree shaded town square.
Other towns in Kendall County include Comfort; like Boerne, founded by German immigrants in the mid-19th century, Sisterdale, Welfare, Kendalia, and Bergheim. Comfort retains much of it’s historic downtown, built at the peak of prosperity in the 1880s, and designed by prominent San Antonio architect Alfred Giles.
During the Civil War, the Germans who had largely settled the Hill Country were abolitionists and pro-Union, in a Confederate state. In 1862, a party of Unionist men who were traveling to neutral territory in order to volunteer for service with the Union Army were caught and massacred in a bloody skirmish on the Nueces River, as they were about to cross into Mexico. Their remains were gathered up after the war, and buried under the “True to the Union Monument” in Comfort, which still flies the 26-star Civil War era flag.
Guadalupe River State Park is located along the boundary of Comal and Kendall Counties. The Guadalupe River State Park offers picnicing, hiking, river activities and camping. The nearly 2000 acre park is noted for its ruggedness and scenic beauty.
Cascade Cavern, formed by the slow process of water seeping through limestone, is a popular destination, near Boerne. The rock formations within the cave are truly spectacular – and maintain a comfortable temperature of 64 degrees, year round. This and other attractions in the Hill Country are only a short drive from urban San Antonio.
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