Railroad Era and Industrial Development

In 1877, the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railroad arrived in San Antonio and sparked major growth in both business and population. Four years later, the International‐Great Northern Railroad reached the city, and several other lines followed (Fehrenbach 2009). As San Antonio expanded into a regional commercial, agricultural processing, and transport hub, services for the growing population also expanded. Infrastructure improvements such as road maintenance, water supply systems, telephone, and electric service all emerged to meet the needs of the growing city. The city’s boom period continued through the turn of the century, and by 1900, the population had risen to 53,321 (Fehrenbach 2009).

Historic Sites

Big Tex Industrial Complex

Big Tex Industrial Complex

The former Big Tex Industrial Complex operated throughout the early twentieth century and reflects the significant role San Antonio historically played as a regional agricultural processing hub.
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Blue Star Street Industrial Historic District

Blue Star Street Industrial Historic District

The National Register of Historic Places-listed Blue Star Street Industrial Historic District represents a unique example of an early twentieth century terminal railway facility.

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Guenther House

Guenther House

The National Register of Historic Places-listed Carl Hilmar Guenther House was originally constructed in 1859, making it one of the oldest houses in the King William neighborhood. It was...
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Pioneer Flour Mills

Pioneer Flour Mills

Pioneer Flour Mills was initially founded as the C.H. Guenther Mill by Carl Hilmar Guenther, a millwright who immigrated to the United States from Germany in the late 1840s.

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