Historical Commission - The New Braunfels Herald

    In downtown New Braunfels, Texas, the most valuable real estate is located around the Main Plaza, originally called the Marktplatz. Today, the Black Whale Pub is situated on one of these properties at 367 Main Plaza, New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas.

    The founder of New Braunfels, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, appointed Nicholas Zink to divide the town into lots to be distributed among the German settlers. Besides laying out the plan for the streets, Zink set up several small plazas, to include a Main Plaza that became the center of town and remains so to this day. One of those original lots around the Main Plaza was Lot #47. It became the site of historically significant activities. On this original acre lot would be a house, saloons, a church, office supply store, and the first English newspaper in a community that had only a German newspaper for about 40 years.

    The story of Lot #47 shows a change over the years from a predominantly German culture to an assimilated American culture. The business that is now located on the most southern end of the original lot is called "The Black Whale Pub." In earlier times, there was a wooden building in the exact location and it housed a saloon called Zum Schwarzen Wallfisch Saloon ("Black Whale Saloon" in English.) Later, the Herald, the newspaper printed in English, was housed in the wooden building from about 1896 to the end of 1907.

    In 1924, the small wooden building was moved from the lot and construction began on the present brick building which was to house the Herald. The newspaper remained there for about 20 years until it moved to another building on Castell Street. From the period of 1944-45, other businesses occupied the building including Dean Office Supply followed by different restaurants. Now, one might say the Zum Schwarzen Wallfisch Saloon once again occupies the location, although in a different structure and by its English name "Black Whale Pub." The activities that took place at this location were indeed significant to the development of New Braunfels, Texas.

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