The History of Waggener Ranch
The property we know today as Waggener Ranch was once 1466 acres comprised of multiple tracts of land that were consolidated from the Kraft and Smithson family patents in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The properties were acquired by H.W. Kraft and retained in his possession until May 6, 1918. Throughout the 1900's, the property changed ownership multiple times, and over time a number of smaller parcels were sold to neighbors.
The largest changes to the property came in 1976, when the property was acquired by Roy Johnston of Inland Energy. Johnston began development of Inland Estates on the property just to the north of the present-day Waggener Ranch parcel. There was a smaller parcel of 250 acres just south of present-day Waggener Ranch that is believed to be the original homestead of, and still owned by, the Johnston family.
On November 18, 1981, A.A. Waggener purchased 836 acres from Inland Energy and began building his vision of an exotic game ranch to enjoy with his friends and family. Waggener Ranch remained in the family almost 20 years. Throughout the time the Waggener’s owned the Ranch, they made several important improvements that would come to define the Waggener Ranch we know today: installation of an 8-foot high-tensile game fence, introduction of various exotic game animals and the removal of most cedar.
In 1999, A.A. Waggener’s health started to decline and together with his son, Bill, made the decision to convert the family ranch into a neighborhood community. Several smaller parcels were sold and the process to develop the remaining 830 acres began.
One of A.A.’s visions was to share a piece of the Hill Country with others, so that they could enjoy the lifestyle he and his family loved so much. Throughout the next couple of years, Waggener platted and subdivided 314.59 acres, installed county-spec roads, ran electrical, telephone and cable lines, and removed the old wooden docks from the lake and park. In July 2001, the Waggener Ranch CC&R’s were filed with Comal County the dream of Waggener Ranch became a reality. That same month, the newly platted lots of Waggener Ranch Phase One were offered to the public for the first time. With the success of Phase One, Bill Waggener developed the remaining acreage into two more phases.
To this day, there are still remnants of the properties’ prior owners:
The Waggener’s horse barn and paddock fencing – built from Inland oil pipe! – are in active use on private property in Phase One.
A stone cistern and livestock tank are still present on private property in Phase One.
The Aeromotor windmill on Dry Bear Creek once fed the park creek and to this day serves to aerate the WR lake.
There was another windmill on the property near the intersection of Turkey Cove and San Marcos Trail that fed a stock tank (still present) nearby.
After WW2, the US Army Corp of Engineers partnered with farmers and ranchers throughout the US to build stock tanks for silt control, water inflow control for downstream streams, rivers and lakes in addition to providing a livestock water source to the rancher. Waggener Ranch was the beneficiary of these projects with the installation of our lake and park in 1946.
A Confederate camp once stood along the Waggener Ranch fence line. Tom Haberhehl recovered numerous artifacts and donated them to the Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels, where they can be seen today.
Huge rocks were quarried out of areas in Phase 2. You can still see the remnants of the quarry, most pronounced from Blackbuck Ridge looking East.