a family as old as Texas
Texas Settlers: Est. 1847
Two years after Texas became a state, Ottmahr von Behr decided to make his home on the banks of the Guadalupe River. He's known as Sisterdale's first permanent settler, living in stone house and raising a family in the wilds of the frontier. The house can still be seen nearby on Ranch Road 1376.
Kristine Rhodes, co-owner of CW Ranch, traces her lineage all the way back to von Behr's property just a short stroll from where CW Ranch sits today.
Working hill country ranchers: 1847-1983
Throughout the 1800s, Kristine's family worked ranches and other frontier jobs in Sisterdale, Boerne, and the surrounding townships. The name "CW" was first registered by Christian Wolleschlaeger near the end of the century. It was used on the cattle he ranched in the area. (The brand was used as part of an exhibit in the 1968 Texas Hemisfair to showcase the region's German settler era.)
The family produced more than ranchers over the years, helping to build the young community into one that served all of its residents. One relative was a Boerne sheriff in the early 1900s, and was killed bringing in a "bandito" to serve time in the local jail. Another worked with friends to establish the Boerne library in the 1950s. One (who shall remain nameless) aided in World Ware Two efforts by spying for the US government.
Even nearby San Antonio can thank the good denizens of Boerne for notoriety in the equine arts. The Walleschlaegers trained polo horses, and coaxed the general at Fort Sam Houston to teach his officers how to play the game. San Antonio Polo Club members now belong to America's longest continuously running club.
More recently, cousin Arthur introduced the "Slow Moving Vehicle" safety triangle to Hill Country and the rest of rural America. His idea to make it safe for tractors to run the roads with a bright orange reflector was so effective, most states have passed laws requiring them on farm vehicles when on the road.
Reinarz Family Home: 1983-2014
In 1983, Kristine's dad, Bob, decided to trade in work at a big city firm for sweet iced tea and more time with family. Many years before, he'd promised his wife that they'd return to a simpler way of life.
The list of places to retire was three deep: Sisterdale, Boerne, and Comfort. They purchased 300 acres to build CW Ranch, and raised Simbrah cattle just four miles from where he grew up. The family visited often, swimming in the same Guadalupe River that Bob had played in with his mama decades before when he was a young boy.
Wedding Venue: 2014 - Present
In 2014, we started the process of turning the ranch into a destination for Texans wanting an authentic Hill Country wedding experience. Not only did we want to create a beautiful venue, we wanted to infuse the experience with the kind of hospitality we feel this part of the country is most known for.
To make our vision come to life, Kristine retired from marketing and design work, and Dennis repurposed his custom-home-building skills to outfitting the family ranch. Work was done to transform the barn where we worked our cattle into a reception venue, the grass field where our kids played in to a ceremony venue, and the home our family was raised in to a place to host wedding guests and you own families.
We had the joy of planning our daughter's wedding while we were creating the CW Ranch wedding experience. Unfortunately, our own venue wouldn't be ready in time, though we did apply a lot of what we learned in the process to make our future brides' and grooms' wedding that much better. We turned our focus on making the venues flow together effortlessly, creating enough housing to eliminate much of the transportation needs, and included all of the annoying surcharges into the base venue price.
We feel strongly that God has led the way for us to return to a simpler life. Now, we serve others who want to experience what we've come to love so much about this ranch. What a blessing to share this place that's been in our family for more than 30 years, and in an area our families have called home for more than 170 years.