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Preservation Texas names Herff Farm in Boerne to its seventh annual list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places
Herff Farm

February, 2010

Herff Farm, a historic farmstead in the German-settled Texas Hill Country in Kendall County, is one of seven sites that Preservation Texas, Inc., has named to its seventh annual list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places.

Preservation Texas officials announced the selections at the Texas State Capitol on February 4, Preservation Day 2010.

In 1852, Dr. Ferdinand Herff (1820-1912) acquired large tracts of land at the confluence of Menger and Cibolo Creeks. Eventually, the farmstead grew to be 10,000 acres.  Dr. Herff, a physician based in San Antonio, maintained the farm as a summer home until 1894, when his son, Charles, moved from San Antonio to manage the property until the early 1920s. In 1935, George and Erma Rozelle purchased 68 acres from Charles Herff’s son.

Today, the 62-acre Herff Farm is part of the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, and is a key element in the Cibolo Conservation Corridor, a collaboration among a variety of partners aimed at protecting four miles of Cibolo Creek and its watershed. The property was last occupied in the mid-1980s. The family home, a two-story, limestone structure built in 1883, remains intact along with agricultural and domestic structures.  In 2007, the Cibolo Nature Center began the acquisition of the Herff Farm in its efforts to protect and preserve the land and water for people and wildlife.

“As an organization devoted to protecting and learning about nature, we’re eager to explore the ways that preserving our historic and cultural heritage aligns with our mission of conserving wildlife,” said Carolyn Chipman Evans, executive director of the Cibolo Nature Center. “With so many historic places found on or adjacent to natural lands, this is a challenge faced by historic preservation and wildlife conservation organizations around the country. We’re looking for partners who can help us plan and implement a program that allows preserving history, culture and nature to enhance and enrich each other.”

Texas is losing much of its farm and ranch land to suburban development, which is affecting water quality and wildlife habitat in Central Texas.

“Herff Farm is both a natural and historic treasure, and an important part of our state’s agricultural heritage,” said Susan Lassell, president of Preservation Texas, Inc., a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Like the other places on our 2010 endangered list, it reflects the increasing awareness across our state of the importance of preserving places that have played important roles in the history of our state. By calling attention to them now, we want to encourage residents to act while there’s still time.”

The 2010 list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places includes:

Austin Woman’s Club, 710 San Antonio, Austin, Travis County

Brazos Drive-In Theatre, 1800 W. Pearl St., Granbury, Hood County

Herff Farm, 33 Herff Road, Boerne, Kendall County

Downtown Austin’s Historic Assets, bounded by Interstate 35 to Lamar, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to Lady Bird Lake, Travis County

Old Llano County Jail (Red Top), 400 E. Oatman St., Llano County

San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, 3523 Independence Parkway, La Porte, Harris County

Swenson Swimming Pool and Bathhouse, Swenson Park Road, Spur, Dickens County

Preservation Texas, Inc., is a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for preserving the historic resources in Texas. Preservation Texas named its first list of endangered historic sites in 2004. Several sites recognized by Preservation Texas have benefited from inclusion on the list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places through energized conservation efforts, commitments for restoration, and additional funding. Texas historic courthouses and the Statler Hilton Hotel, both named to the Preservation Texas list, also were cited by the National Trust for Historical Preservation.

Preservation Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places program is funded by generous grants from the Burdine Johnson Foundation and the Summerlee Foundation. By providing statewide awareness through media coverage, the Most Endangered Places program is a marketing and educational tool that recognizes the importance of specific sites while promoting the cause of historic preservation in Texas.  

For more information on Texas' Most Endangered Historic Places, visit our Web site at www.preservationtexas.org, or phone Preservation Texas, Inc., at 512-472-0102.



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