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A Look at Helotes

Helotes was incorporated as a city in 1981; however, the town has been on Texas maps since the nineteenth century. The term elotes, a Nahuatl/Spanish word that means corn on the cob, has been used since the early 1700s.  Lipan Apaches, Tonkawas, and Comanches camped in the Helotes hills.

Settled in the 1850s by European and Latin immigrants primarily from Germany and Mexico, Helotes has a long history as an identifiable town. After the establishment of the Helotes Post Office in 1873, Helotes was put on county maps. Twenty miles from downtown San Antonio, Helotes remained a farming community for decades and was a frequent site of cattle drives between San Antonio and Bandera in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Helotes remained primarily rural until the late 20th century, when the sale of farmland to developers created a housing boom. Along with the population growth came a new school. In 1998, Sandra Day O'Connor High School opened in Helotes. According to the 2010 census, Helotes has a population of 7,300 residents.

Despite its growing population, Helotes retains a unique small town appeal.  Renowned as much for its citizens' independent spirits, as for its lush hill county landscape, Helotes is the quintessential Texas town.    

More of the history of Helotes in pictures and text can be found at the BiblioBoard Bexar County Tricentennial Digital Archives

Visit our Shop page to purchase books on the history of Helotes.

 
 

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Old Town Helotes, established in 1881, is located on Old Bandera Road. 
   
 

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A comprehensive history, Helotes, Where the Texas Hill Country Begins, and a pictorial history, Helotes, Images of America, by Cynthia Leal Massey, are available for purchase locally at Simply Yours Gifts & More and Helotes Bicycle Shop in Old Town Helotes and at online bookstores. 


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The Gugger Homestead in Old Town Helotes, circa 1914, was awarded Texas Historic Landmark designation in 2007. Today, it houses a bicycle shop.
  

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John T. Floore Country Store, circa 1949. In 2005, the dance hall was honored with a Texas Historic Landmark designation and a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
  

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Arnold Gugger, purchased 110 acres from the Marnoch family, and founded downtown Helotes in 1881.
  

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An early Helotes school, circa 1908.
  

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Amalie “Mollie” Benke Gugger
  

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The Helotes General Store was built by Gugger in 1881. Owned by several families over the years that ran it as a general store and meat market, it housed the popular Hickory Hut Bar-B-Q Restaurant until 2006. Today it houses Flour Blooms Bakery.
  
  

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Built in 1859, the Marnoch homestead on Scenic Loop Road is the oldest house in Helotes. The home was built for Dr. George Frederick Marnoch, a Scottish surgeon and his family. This is an early 1900s photograph of the homestead, which was awarded Texas Historic Landmark designation in 2009.

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Cattle drives through town occurred frequently, as this 1916 photograph shows. Emil Gottschalck and sons purchased the downtown property and turned the dance hall into a meat market. Today, this building houses Soler’s Tri-Sports.
  
 




 

 


 

 

 

 

Historical Society of Helotes  P.O. Box 707, Helotes, TX 78023