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A Brief History of Sisterdale
The Second Oldest Town in the Beautiful Texas Hill Country


Sisterdale is located in a quiet valley between the East and West Sister Creeks, just north of the Guadalupe River. Founded by Captain Nicholas Zink in 1847, just two short years after Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels settled the town of New Braunfels.
Sisterdale was soon populated with a group of German "free thinkers" who were disillusioned after the failed European Revolution of 1848. Upon arrival, the settlers soon chopped down most of the cypress trees that lined both Sister Creeks for furniture, cabinet making, and home construction...however, it was farming that consumed most of their time. These gentleman farmers thought they would be able to farm part of the day and spend the studying Latin, literature, poetry and music. Most had never farmed before moving to Sisterdale and the few that had quickly realized that the farming conditions varied greatly from their homeland. So, their idyllic vision of studying the arts and farming was soon dashed as the realities of frontier life settled in.

Sisterdale continued to grow and in 1850 Dr. Ernst Kapp and Dr. Rudolph Wipprecht settled here from Germany. Dr. Kapp established the Hydropathic Institute in Sisterdale, which promoted cures with mineral waters. The Comfort Museum displays a Hermann Lunkwitz lithograph illustrating the water curing process. Dr. Kapp later moved and became the first professor of languages at Texas A&M University.

Recently, a University of Chicago professor was researching his ancestors from the Sisterdale area and discovered a historical publication indicating that vineyards were planted in Sisterdale around the 1860's. Additional research indicated that the small limestone building adjacent to the winery was probably the site of the first permanent home in Sisterdale.

The 1885 cotton gin, which currently houses Sister Creek Vineyards, was in operation until 1927. A boll-weevil infestation in the mid-20's devasted the farmers and eventually forced the closing of the cotton gin.
The Sisterdale Valley Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.