The Guenther House Museum

 

In 1848, Carl Hilmar Guenther arrived in America from Germany.  After traveling across the midwest, he settled in Fredericksburg, Texas and established a flour mill.  In 1858, he relocated his business to San Antonio along the river, just south of town.

Stones were quarried from an area near what is now the San Antonio Zoo for a single-story residence that sat beside the mill. The mortar  joining these stones was made from rocks gathered downstream. The roof was made of metal sheets. Here, Hilmar and his wife, Henrietta Dorothea Pape, set up a home and raised seven children.
The Museum, or library as it was originally known, now houses mill memorabilia including antique baking accessories, cookie cutters and anniversary Dresden china plates which were given to customers by the mill. After World War II, Dresden plates were replaced with American-made china until they also stopped in 1952. Erhard’s silver-plated trophy from the Casino Club Bowling Team of 1897 is also located in the Museum; as is a beautiful hand-carved Victorian marble-top table, a gift to Erhard and his wife, Lottie Hamisch Guenther. An alabaster and brass ceiling fixture has been returned to its original place in the Museum, as well.

The hallway between the Museum and The River Mill Store was Originally the home’s front door entry way. A silver-plated, gas-lit chandelier originally located in another house on the mill property has been placed in The Guenther House. The stained glass door and side lights that is now the entrance to the ladies’ room reflect the miller’s trade at that time.