Friedrich Wilhelm Schumacher (b. 1815) originally built this limestone and fachwerk home in 1849 in Fredericksburg, Texas (on Austin Street). Schumacher, a tailor, was one of the earliest settlers in the area. His first concern on arrival was to build a home for his wife and two young children. The building materials used in the house graphically demonstrate the use of materials close at hand to the first settlers. With each subsequent addition of a room (three rooms total), construction techniques advanced. The first room utilizes post oak beams and a mixture of red clay, grass, and woven willow branches from a nearby creek for filler support. Vertical, horizontal, and slanting beams were held together with wooden pegs in this fachwerk construction.The second room, elevated one step from the original room, is made from post oak beams, rock infill, and crude mortar. Sections of wall space in the first two rooms reveal the underlying structure. At the rear of the house, the third room is made from quarried limestone, abundant in the Texas Hill Country. As the architecture evolves, handhewn beams advance later to sawed beams.
There is a story that Mrs. Schumacher had finished baking bread one day and placed her loaves near the window to cool. Suddenly she looked up and saw an Indian standing there holding a knife and motioning to her to cut some of it for him. She did, and he soon left, causing no disturbance or harm. Mr. Schumacher then planted a dense, thorny bois d’arc (commonly known as Osage Orange) hedge along the edge of the property to provide protection from intruders.
The simple plantings of an early German homestead complete the setting of the Schumacher House. To reach the Botanical Garden, the structure was disassembled, indexed, and re-assembled on site.
The restoration of the Schumacher House by the San Antonio Botanical Garden Society won a 2006 preservation award from the San Antonio Conservation Society.