Nestled in gently rolling hills beside the Guadalupe River and Cypress Creek, in the quaint Texas town of Comfort, the Ingenhuett on High has officially re-opened for business as an event venue space available for weddings, parties, meetings, corporate or private events, dances and more.
The building located originally at 830 High St. was known by locals as the Inguenhuett General Store. Prior to suffering extensive fire damage in 2006, it held the title of “oldest continually running general store” in Texas. Craig and Jeanine Leeder of Boerne purchased the property in 2010 and have returned it to its near original state.
Opened in 1867 by Peter J. Inguenhuett, the store provided a crucial source of supplies to frontier settlers. Its shelves stocked a vast array of products, from ammo to foodstuffs, fishing gear to shovels and all other manner of hardware. As the business grew it moved to the High Street location in 1881 and then was expanded in 1900 to about 2,500 square feet. The store once housed a bank and a post office, both of which closed by the mid-1930s, and it later temporarily featured a John Deere dealership.
The downtown area of Comfort is possibly one of the most well-preserved business districts in Texas. There are well over 100 structures in the area dating back to the 1800s, and seven of them, including the Inguenhuett on High, were designed by the famous British architect, Alfred Giles. Giles is arguably most well known in Texas for his numerous designs of county courthouses, and for the historic structures he designed in San Antonio. In Mary C. H. Jutson’s Biography about Giles, she wrote, “He adapted and combined stylistic elements with restraint, sobriety, and simplicity".
In San Antonio, in what is now the King William Historic District, Giles designed residences for Edward Steves (1877) and Carl Wilhelm August Groos (1880), and on the campus of Incarnate Word College, the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word (1900); in Fredericksburg, the old Gillespie County Courthouse (1881); in Bandera, the old Bandera County Jail (1881); in Floresville, the Wilson County Courthouse (1884); and in Laredo, the Webb County Courthouse (1909).
As news spread about the Leeder’s completion of the project, so have rumors about what is in “store” for the prime location in the heart of Comfort. Craig and Jeanine have decided to share the beautifully restored building with the public as a special events venue. The Leeders have hired San Antonio based event planner Natalie Hart Arrufat of Country Sugar Events (www.countrysugar.com) as the venue coordinator. The walls of the Inguenhuett will once again be filled with the hustle and bustle of a small Texas town in the form of weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and holiday parties.
With the completion of the project, and the official opening of its doors to the public, the small downtown area of Comfort seems whole again.
The story of the Inguenhuett on High is a long one, with highs and lows over the past 123 years. Thankfully the story isn’t over, the next chapter is being written every day.