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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Bowen's Island

 
 
Bowen's Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 29, 2010
1. Bowen's Island Marker
Inscription. This tract of land is a natural peninsula in the San Antonio River. It once was bounded by the river on three sides and on the fourth by the Concepcion Acequia. In 1845 John Bowen, a native of Philadelphia, bought the property from Maria Josefa Rodriguez de Yturri for $300. Bowen and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, built a seven-room home on the island for their family of six children. Here they planted fruit trees and grapevines. On the east bank of the river, they built a waterwheel to irrigate their truck farm.

During the 1840s and 1850s John Bowen served San Antonio as United States Postmaster and City Treasurer. He was a staunch Unionist and, according to family tradition, protected fugitive slaves. John Bowen died on the island in 1867 and was buried here.

Bowen's Island was a well-known garden spot and a popular setting for social gatherings and celebrations. Here the first Volkfest was held, and the Turnverein, a German athletic club, performed. During the 1870s it was the site of Wolfram's Central Garden, a pleasure resort.

Mary Elizabeth Bowen died in 1903. During the 1920s the river was diverted, and Bowen's Island became part of the San Antonio mainland.
 
Erected 1985 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 474.)
 
Location.
Bowen's Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 29, 2010
2. Bowen's Island Marker
Looking west along the River Walk.
29° 25.385′ N, 98° 29.452′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker can be reached from 145 Navarro Street. Touch for map. Marker is along the River Walk, about 200 feet west of the Navarro Street Bridge, and near the City Public Service and Tower Life Buildings. Marker is in this post office area: San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Mill Crossing (within shouting distance of this marker); Padre Damian Massanet's Table (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old San Antonio National Bank Building (about 500 feet away); Site of the Old Adobe (about 600 feet away); Staacke Brothers Building (about 600 feet away); Benito Juarez (about 600 feet away); John Twohig Lived on These Grounds (about 700 feet away); Stevens Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .  John Bowen. (Submitted on May 19, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRIndustry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Bowen's Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 29, 2010
3. Bowen's Island Marker
Looking west along the River Walk from near the Navarro Street Bridge.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 19, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,223 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 19, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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