Church Oak

Historical Period: Early Statehood (1845-1861)
Historical Topic: Folklore & Legends, Religious Freedom
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Comal
Public Access: Yes

Beside the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels stands a sturdy live oak whose history is lost except for the legend on a large concrete marker. The memorial was placed at the base of the tree by the Texas Historic Landmarks Association. The Association's secretary, Miss Adina de Zavala (daughter of the provisional vice president of the Republic of Texas) spoke at the dedication in November 1917.

Inscribed on the marker are the following words: “Folklore says that here, in the dawn of Texas history, stood an Indian village in which one of the early missionaries lingered many days; that here a vision of the chief's daughter freed the first German in Texas. Tradition says that under this tree Mass was offered by the Abbe Em Domenech in 1849.”

The Church Oak is located in the parking lot of Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels.