Marker Text: Located in the Mission Valley Settlement, Walzem Chapel was built to serve Catholics in this once remote area. In the mid-1800s, German immigrants came to Texas under the auspices of the Adelsverein in search of freedom and economic opportunity. Johann Joseph and Anna Gertruda Walzem settled in the Mission Valley Settlement in the 1850s and built a home. Mr. Walzem was a stonemason and has been credited with building several houses in the Mission Valley Settlement. Walzem and his family were important members of the community in the early days of New Braunfels’ development.
Johann and his sons built the chapel (also known as St. John Chapel) located on an acre plot in the north end of their original 160 acre tract. Legend has it that after working for several years, Mr. Walzem visited his homeland and upon returning to Texas, built the chapel in thanksgiving for a safe trip. The chapel is also mistakenly referred to as “Walzem Mission,” due to its location in the community. A stone at the top of the entrance to the chapel is marked “1870,” indicating the completion date. The walls were made of limestone locally quarried and cut by Johann and his sons with mortar from a local kiln, demonstrating pioneers’ ability to survive in the wilderness.
Johann gave the land and chapel to the Right Reverend Bishop C.M. Dubois of the Catholic Church in 1871 and it eventually was purchased by a developer. The homeowners of the subdivision now care for the chapel and property. While the stone walls of the chapel are all that remain, a reminder of the challenges and isolation of the early frontier still linger. (2014)
Marker No: 17815
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 29.731480, -98.201126
Location: 597 La Bahia Loop, New Braunfels