The annual West of the Pecos Rodeo in Pecos (pop. 9,501) boasts one of the longest rodeo histories in the country, begun July 4, 1883.

Bulverde: The City

Bulverde is a beautiful city of picturesque rolling hills and valleys with clusters of majestic live oak trees.  It is just a few miles from Canyon Lake and the Guadalupe State Park.  San Antonio’s famous Alamo, the River Walk, Sea World of Texas, Fiesta Texas, and numerous restaurants and entertainment venues are all close by.  Given its proximity to world class attractions and its exclusive, rural quality of life, Bulverde is growing rapidly and requires comprehensive planning to protect the amenities and the quality of life that residents enjoy and has attracted people to the “Front Porch” of the Texas Hill Country.

Bulverde's Name

The man whose name may be the origin of Bulverde, was Luciano Bulverda who owned 320 acres in the late 1830s in present day Bulverde’s Cibolo Creek Valley.

Location

Located on the scenic Cibolo Creek in Comal County, 22 miles north of downtown San Antonio and 19 miles west of New Braunfels, Bulverde is the “Front Porch” of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.  It is also one of the newest cities in Texas having been incorporated in 1999.  

The city is at the crossroads location of U.S. Highway 281, State Highway 46, and FM 1863, and is thus easily accessible to San Antonio and surrounding cities; including Johnson City and Austin to the north; Boerne, Comfort, and Kerrville to the west; as well as New Braunfels and Garden Ridge to the east.

Geography

Bulverde lies approximately 1,096 feet above mean sea level and encompasses 9.6 square miles of land in the Edwards Plateau.  The area enjoys mild weather conditions throughout the year with an average high/low temperature in July of 92/73°F and in January of 68/41°F. 

The growing season is 265 days and the average number of days of sunshine per year is 300.  Annual precipitation in Bulverde feeds the Edwards aquifer with an average or 30 to 33 inches of rain per year.  There are two soil types in the area: 1) shallow, undulating steep soils over limestone; and 2) in the lower elevations, level to gently sloping soils over loamy clay and gravel sediments.

Wildlife

Wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, armadillo, possum, raccoon, and quail are abundant in the area.

Demographics

According to the census of 2000, there were 3,761 people, 1,292 households, and 1,131 families residing in the city.  The population density was 495.7 people per square mile (191.3/km2). There were 1,349 housing units at an average density of 177.8/sq mi (68.6/km2).

The racial makeup of the city was 95.32% White, 0.32% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.70% from two or more races.  Hispanic or Latino made up 10.95% of the population.

There were 1,292 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.6% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female head of household, and 12.4% were non-families.  

Of all households 10.1% were comprised of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.  The average household size was 2.91 persons and the average family size was 3.12 persons.

Bulverde’s population was fairly Texas-typical with 28.3% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older.  The median age was 40 years.  For every 100 females there were 101.3 males.  For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.

 The median income in 2000 for a household in Bulverde was $67,055, and the median income for a family was $68,019.  Males had a median income of $49,245 versus $30,717 for females.  The per capita income for the city was $26,887.  About 1.5% of families and 2.3% of the population existed below the poverty line.

Bulverde Links

City of Bulverde

Bulverde’s city hall is located near The Village, just north of the Comal County Fire Station on Cougar Bend.  The address and other information are:
City of Bulverde
P.O. Box 335
City Hall at 30360 Cougar Bend
Bulverde, TX 78163

http://www.ci.bulverde.tx.us
Phones - (830) 438-3612 or (830) 980-8832
Fax - (830) 438-4339

Maps

Road Map  A zoom capable road map from MapQuest http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Bulverde&state=TX

City Limits and its ETJ  This file of City Limits and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction contains a map of the city limits of the City of Bulverde and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ)

Zoning Map  This Zoning Map depicts the various zoning districts of the City of Bulverde.  It is a digital representation of the official zoning map and its subsequent amendments.

Emergency Services

Bulverde Police Department is located at Bulverde City Hall, Phone - (830) 438-3612 or (830) 980-8832, Emergency 911, Non Emergency Dispatch 830-885-4883
http://www.bulverdepolice.com/

Bulverde Area Volunteer Fire Department (BAVFD)  The BAVFD provides the Emergency Service District #5 (ESD #5) with Firefighters who not only respond to fires, but also vehicle wrecks, hazardous conditions, and water rescues; they are also first responders for medical emergencies.  Additionally, the department provides public assistance and public education opportunities.  Contact information can be found at: http://www.bulverdefiredepartment.com/

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)  EMS’ ambulance crews serve as the front-line of our local emergency health care system and play a critical role in the provision of emergency care and treatment of a patient's medical condition or traumatic injuries.  EMS also provides transportation to health care facilities and ground ambulance services.  They are committed to promoting the safety and well being of citizens.  Generally, the Bulverde-Spring Branch EMS experiences approximately 1600 emergency responses per year and operates 4 advanced life support (ALS) response vehicles.  For further information go to http://www.bsbems.org/

Animal Control: Monday through Friday. (830) 438-3612 between 8:00am and 5:00pm.  After hours and weekends call (210) 414-5620.

Bulverde Municipal Court: For questions email bulcity@gvtc.com or call City Hall. Fines can also be paid at City Hall Monday - Friday, 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Public & Information Services

Library: The Bulverde/Spring Branch Library serves the population of western Comal County.  The library provides the following services for our community. ore to come.  The library's website and information can be found at Library's Website

Bulverde Area Humane Society  The Bulverde Area Humane Society is a non-profit organization that provides a caring and secure environment for homeless and surrendered dogs and cats. Their purpose as a no-kill shelter is to assist in the pet life cycle through education, spay/neuter assistance, and promoting pet-forever families.  Bulverde Area Humane Society is powered by volunteers and tax-deductible contributions.  The society's website can be found at www.bulverdeareahumanesociety.com.

The Bulverde Senior Center  The Bulverde Senior Center at Bulverde serves the needs of the senior citizens in this rural area and strive to help enrich their quality of life, provide educational programs to fit senior needs, bring health and exercise programs to them, provide opportunities for socialization and community service, and help seniors remain active and self-sufficient.

Bulverde Food Pantry: The Bulverde Food Pantry is an ecumenical community-based service organization helping people in crisis; further information can be obtained at http://www.bulverdefoodpantry.org/

Newspapers

Newspapers: The Bulverde Bul-a-ton was published in the mid-1980s.  The publisher was Betty Baker and her offices were located due East of the Justice of the Peace's office for Pct. 3 Comal County.  Current local newspapers are:

  • The Bulverde News: The Bulverde Community News was founded in 1994 by Bob Welch (Publisher) and Julia Welch (Managing Editor).  It exerted dominance in local news coverage and became the official paper of record for the newly formed City of Bulverde.  Mr. and Mrs. Welch sold the Bulverde Community News to Prime Time Newspapers (a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communication) in September 1998.  It is now titled The Bulverde News.

  • The Hill Country Times: The Hill Country Times is a weekly online publication and is available only on the world-wide web at http://www.hillcountrytimes.com/.  There is no printed version offered at this time.  The new issue is published each Wednesday.

  • The Hilltop Reporter: The Hilltop Reporter began covering news in Bulverde and western Comal County in March 2009.  Its offices are located in nearby Canyon Lake.

Clubs & Oganizations

History: Past & Present

The 2000-year history of the Bulverde area begins with archeological evidence that Paleo Indians lived well off the land along the Cibolo Creek where there was plentiful wild game and water.  In the mid-1700’s Comanches took control of the region from the Lipan Apaches and Tonkawas, bringing with them a rich vocabulary for describing geographic features such as elevation, bodies of water, and vegetation.  

Spaniards

In 1785 Spanish emissaries Pedro Vidal and Francisco Xavier Chaves noted that the Comanches understood how to use and move about the land “to avoid detection from their enemies.”  Spaniards gave way to Tejanos.

Texas and Tejas

The Spanish words Tejano (male) and Tejana (female) describe the citizens of the former province of Tejas, New Spain, or the Texas section of the State of Coahuila y Tejas in the Republic of Mexico.  These names were changed to “Texian” by Mirabeau Lamar, the first president of the Republic of Texas.

Early Tejano Settlers

One Tejana and three Tejanos were the first families to live in the Bulverde area, as documented in the Residents of Texas 1782 – 1806 stored in the Alamo Archives. 

The original Tejana was Guadalupe Herrera, a widow and prosperous landowner.  Her accomplishments were remarkable for a woman in that era.  A school in Bulverde was named after her, and some of the foundation stones of the school are plainly visible off Bulverde Road near the Cave property.  

An original Tejanos was Juan Manuel Rivas who was granted a Bexar First Class Headright and prospered here as a farmer.  Another was Agapito Gaytan who was listed in the Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution and granted 640 acres since he was a single man.  

The third Tejano, and the man whose name may be the origin of Bulverde, was Luciano Bulverda who owned 320 acres in the Cibolo Valley.  By 1845 all four parcels had been purchased by William H. Steele and Ludovic Colquhound—most likely for speculative purposes.

Roadways

Over the past two thousand years many roads paralleled the alignment of the Cibolo Creek.  Bulverde’s centralized, pivotal location began with the founding of Fredericksburg in 1846.  It necessitated a roadbed to connect it with New Braunfels to the east which was founded in 1843. The road took a southerly route and bypassed the more terrain-difficult paths to the North and went through what is now downtown Bulverde.  The area is today popularly called The Village which is located on Bulverde Road just West of 281 (1863/Bulverde exit off 281).

The first settlements that are now the City of Bulverde began in 1850 as a stopping point for travelers; one was called the Pieper Settlement. The present day name was taken from the local post office which was founded in 1880 and named for Luciano Bulverdo, an early land owner.

The area was originally home to many American Indian tribes, including the Lipan, Tonkawa, Karankawa and Waco tribes. Arrow heads, including one known as the Bulverde Point can still be found in the hills surrounding the area.

Popular today for the local spirit born from those early pioneer beginnings and quaint, historical sites, the area has continued to attract more and more people and businesses looking to escape the compact, hustle-bustle of the city. Most residents prefer to shop and find entertainment in their community surrounded by the quiet gentleness that only the Bulverde/Spring Branch area can offer.

Today FM 1863 traces one of the more popular routes used by migrants traveling from New Braunfels to Boerne and Fredericksburg.  Seventeen miles west of New Braunfels, the road traversed the upper reaches of Cibolo Creek where the valley widened.

German Settlers

In the years following the annexation of Texas into the United States the area was settled by German immigrants with names of Pieper, Schulmier, Voges, Rompel, Vogel, Koch and Wehe. The present day Bulverde was originally called Pieper’s Settlement after one of these early settlers, Anton Pieper, until it was renamed Bulverde in 1879. Anton Pieper was one of the founders of New Braunfels, TX as part of the German Nobility Society's Texas colonization project. Anton is believed to have been one of the "troop of 20" put together by Prince Solms to protect the new colonists.

Ben Smithson was the first settler in what is now called Smithson Valley, and was soon joined by families named Busch, Kuehn, Groencke, Gass, Spangenberg, Loeffler, Seegers, Ohlrich, and Penshorn.

After 1885, quite a few parcels were subdivided and sold. Many more German immigrants moved into the area: Grosser, Saur, Simon, Georg, Doeppenschmidt, and Fink.

Early Homes

The first homes were constructed of hewn post oak and cedar logs.  Later homes were built mostly of quarried stone, and of the eight original homes built in this style five still remain: the Pieper, Voges, Obst, Poss and Hitzfelder homes.

Ranching and Farming

There was widespread sheep and goat ranching.  The primary crops were corn, oats, wheat and barley, but after the 1870s cotton became king.  Drought was a recurring problem, and the first record of well drilling was in 1877.  Cattle rustling and horse thieving were common and called the “custom of the county” in an 1878 Herald article. 

Cattle were considered communal property and no one was convicted prior to 1878.  To combat rustling, groups of ranchers organized the Germania Farmer Verein with the G brand.  Around this time Gustav Schmidt built the first cotton gin in the area, but by 1915 the boll weevil had destroyed the cotton business.

Early Shopping

The next store was built by Charles Groenke.  In 1887 Friedolin’s store was built.  First known as the Red and White, this is presently the location of Specht’s Store and Restaurant.

The area’s first store, a quarried stone structure, was established around 1873 by Henry Voges, Jr.  Voges’ original store was built on the site now occupied by Sweet's Store  It was purchased in 1956 by the Wood Family who continue to own the location today. The original building, was destroyed by fire in 1969. This site has been continuous operation for over 135 years.

Post Office

The first post office closed in 1919, but reopened in Charles L. Wood's store in 1959.  Today’s post office is located in The Village at 30131 Bulverde Ln, across the street from Sweet’s Store.

Free-Stack Rock Walls

Between 1850 and 1890 many rock walls were built in the area.  They were laid dry and shimmed with chips.  In the late 1920s and through the 1930s many of these lovely stone fences were sold by ranchers for extra income.  The building style that used fieldstone had become popular in the area.  Many miles of these fences were also used as fill for widening of what became Farm/Market 1863.

Early Bulverde Schools

At one time six schools served the area, but in 1944 all of them were torn town for construction of a consolidated school at the corner of Bulverde-Spring Branch Road and Amman Road.  After the Great Depression many of the original farmers and ranchers left the area, and after World War II San Antonians and other urbanites started moving into the area.

In 1947 the Herrera, Ufnau, Honey Creek, Mustang Hill, and Green Hill School Districts were consolidated into the Bulverde School District and had a total enrollment of 52.

Throughout the 1980s and as of 2007, the children of Bulverde fed into Smithson Valley High School. Smithson Valley High School has earned the reputation of having excellent academic and athletic departments. The sports teams from the high school regularly advance to compete at state championship levels.

The City of Bulverde is presently served by the Comal Independent School District.  Local schools include:
Rahe Bulverde Elementary School
: Information to follow 
Bill Brown Elementary School:
Information to follow
Bracken Christian School:  Bracken Christian School is a k through 12 school that sits on a majestic Bulverde hilltop.

Recent History

The present day city was formed from five separate incorporated cities requiring 22 elections beginning in 1996 to eventually become one united city.  In 1998, Bulverde North and Bulverde West requested consolidation with Bulverde South.  In 1999, Bulverde East and in 2000 Bulverde Northwest followed suit.  On May 11, 1999, the Board of Alderman of Bulverde South changed the name of the city to the City of Bulverde.

Bulverde Today

As evidenced by its historical beginnings, the present day City of Bulverde developed along the Cibolo and Honey Creeks in an area of exceptional beauty, and was built up by people willing to work hard and raise families under sometimes difficult conditions.  The beauty of the area continues to beckon those looking for a more promising and better quality of life, something that is especially important in today’s fast-paced world.

The growth of Bulverde as a bedroom community has been a relatively recent development.  In December of 2003, the population of Bulverde was declared to be over 5,000 persons, making it eligible to form a charter and become a home-rule type city with a one mile ETJ.  When a Home Rule City Charter is ratified be city voters it will give the city more powers, but also more responsibilities. 

Bulverde's Future

The future is promising, but, with the rapid influx of new people, it is quite challenging, too.  Roads, water, clean air, open space and many other issues need to be addressed head-on.  We have an enviable and unique combination of assets that must be protected, furthered, enhanced, and strengthened with sound planning as we proceed into this century.  As a new city, we have a chance to make our dreams reality.

Notable Neighbors

  • Augie Meyers - musician and singer, former member of Sir Douglas Quintet, and Texas Tornados.

  • Jason LaRue - MLB Baseball Player

  • Felix "Doc" Blanchard - Bulverde is where college football legend, and 1945 Heisman Trophy winner, "Mr. Inside" Felix "Doc" Blanchard lived the last 20 years of his life, with his daughter Mary and her husband. He died of pneumonia on April 19, 2009.

  • Cory Clark - Smithson Valley Offensive Lineman drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2008.