Boerne in Kendall County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
San Antonio, Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad Company (SAF&N)
Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad Company (F&N)
As early as 1874 there were attempts to lay ribbons of rail from San Antonio to Fredericksburg. San Antonio businessmen chartered The San Antonio and Fredericksburg Narrow Gauge Railway Company to accomplish this task, but failed. Several other attempts were also made with similar results. In the mid 1880's the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company (SA&AP), announced plans to extend rail service into the Texas Hill Country. This announcement provoked an intense competition amongst the towns that were posturing themselves as potential stops along the railroad. The greatest rivalry was between the two likely endpoints, Kerrville and Fredericksburg.
"In '85, the Hill Country wanted a railroad, so Captain Schreiner of Kerrville, myself and one or two of the leading men in Comfort and Boerne came to San Antonio to promote the railroad, trying to get all the subscriptions possible from everyone. Fredericksburg also wanted the railroad, and they sent a very able judge to San Antonio at the same time that we were there. Captain Schreiner told us that this judge was prone to "get full" and that every time we met him during the
Not long after the SA&AP had completed the line to Kerrville, there was a proposal by W.A.H. Miller promoting a rail line from the SA&AP Guadalupe River bridge north through Fredericksburg and terminating in Llano. The management of the SA&AP agreed to lay the rail and construct all the bridges, if Mr. Miller would prepare the roadbed. Several miles of roadbed were graded at all three points of connection, however, the shortage of funding and the divide, known as "Big Hill," between the Guadalupe and Pedernales River basins proved to be too daunting of an obstacle for the Llano extension.
Almost twenty-five years after segments of the initial roadbed were graded north towards Fredericksburg, the San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway Company (SAF&N) was chartered on January 3, 1913. The goal of the company was to link with the SA&AP on the north side of the Guadalupe River, east of Comfort
Mr. Foster Crane, construction engineer with the Memphis construction firm of Roach, Stansell & Crane, was involved with constructing the Medina Irrigation Company's diversion canal connected to the recently completed Medina Lake Dam, and was hired as the contractor for the construction of the 23.5 miles of railroad and tunnel needed to reach Fredericksburg.
The SAF&N owned two locomotives and only one car, but did not prove to be a profitable railway company. In 1916, the company reported total earnings of $46,000 for both passenger and freight service. On October 28, 1914 the receiver took possession of the company and operated the line until December 31, 1917 when it was sold under foreclosure to Martin Carle, representing the State Bank & Trust Company of
The Fredericksburg and Northern Railway Company (F&N) was chartered on December 26, 1917. For years the F&N ran daily mixed passenger and freight along the line. After twenty five years of service, the F&N ceased its service on July 27, 1942. Dr. O.H. Judkins of San Antonio was given permission by the War Production Board and Inter state Commerce Commission to abandon the line and salvage all the materials for scrap to aid in the war effort. When the word got out that the F&N was going to be abandoned, citizens of Gillespie County rallied and attempted to raise sufficient funds to purchase the railroad. Adequate funding was not forthcoming, and the bid for salvage was let, awarded to a Chicago brokerage firm for $77,000. The railroad was dismantled, leaving behind a tunnel and the memories of a group of determined businessmen who fought with much perseverance to open their community to San Antonio and the broader markets of Texas and the United States.
FREDERICKSBURG JUNCTION - M.P. O
At the junction of the SAF&N and SA&AP there was a small depot for passengers, a wye for steam engines to reverse direction along with a siding and water tank. Passengers from San Antonio headed to Fredericksburg had to wait almost four hours at this junction for their transfer to the F&N and the 24 mile trip to their destination.
NICHOLS - M.P. 1.6
A flag stop serviced the Nichol's Ranch which was a vacation spot for weekenders and for those seeking a moderate climate for several weeks during the pleasant summer months.
MARQUART - M.P. 3.1
A 212 foot spur at Marquart serviced a warehouse that stored cotton, wool, mohair and other agricultural produce from farms and ranches in the local vicinity.
HILLINGDON - M.P. 6
This was a flag stop for the Hillingdon Ranch, owned by the prominent architect and hill country rancher Alfred Giles. He traveled often between his summer ranch home and architectural office and residence in San Antonio. A bird pen containing pigeons was placed alongside the track so that when he arrived at the flag stop, he could send a message to the ranch that he had arrived and needed a carriage to bring him to the ranch head quarters.
BIG HILL TUNNEL - M.P. 9.6
This was the fourth railroad tunnel constructed in Texas, the longest in the state at the time, measuring 920 feet in length. This boring is on the divide between the Guadalupe and Pedernales River basins.
MT. ALAMO - M.P. 10.6
This location was originally formed to service the proposed Mountain Townsite Company, a pleasure resort promotional scheme. Rail facilities included a small depot still in existence, a 200 foot spur and cattle pens.
BANKERSMITH - M.P. 12
A small community established in September 1913 and named in honor of Temple D. Smith, banker and director of the SAF&N. A small depot with American Railway Express office, rail car siding, lumber yard, general store, post office, warehouse and loading platforms served this community.
CAIN CITY - M.P. 16.5
Named in honor of Charlie Cain, a San Antonio businessman and railroad promoter who raised the greatest amount of subscriptions to fund the construction of the railroad. This community had a small depot with American Railway Express office, 700 foot siding, cotton gin, lumber yard, bank, grocery stores, drug store, post office, school, churches, warehouses, garages, loading platforms and the Mountain Home Hotel.
BAUSCH GIN - M.P. 19
A spur line provided service for this cotton gin near the banks of the Pedernales River.
PEDERNALES RIVER BRIDGE - M.P. 19.5
24 bridges were constructed on this line. The flood of 1936 washed away 1,000 feet of this bridge.
FREDERICKSBURG - M.P. 23.9
The original SAF&N depot still exists, it has been incorporated into the Peanut Factory south of downtown Fredericksburg. A wye was used at the end of track to reverse direction of incoming trains and a water tank provided water for the steam engines. A tool house, cotton platform, cotton gin, lumber yard, oil storage facilities, warehouses were all located near the depot which handled both passenger and freight traffic.
SAF&N Engine 101, one of only two steam locomotives on this line
View from atop the tunnels southern approach show crews at work
Erected 2015 by City of Boerne - Parks and Recreation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational Areas • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1874.
Location. 29° 47.785′ N, 98° 43.59′ W. Marker is in Boerne, Texas, in Kendall County. Marker is at the intersection of Stahl Street and East Blanco Road, on the left when traveling south on Stahl Street. The marker is located on the Old No. 9 hiking trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Boerne TX 78006, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lott Lines (here, next to this marker); San Antonio Railroads (here, next to this marker); SA and AP (here, next to this marker); Transportation Timeline (here, next to this marker); Boerne Chapter No. 200 - O.E.S. (within shouting distance of this marker); Kendall Masonic Lodge No. 897 (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Boerne Schoolhouses (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kuhlmann-King House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boerne.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 25, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 71 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 25, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.