ONE NAME, TWO TOWNS
Established in 1847, D’Hanis was the fourth colony founded by empresario Henri Castro in Medina County and is named for a Castro company official. D’Hanis pioneers were mostly Alsatian immigrants, and they built a community that exemplifies a Texas European colonial village for the period 1850 to 1880. Local residents still refer to it as “Old D’Hanis, because when the railroad bypassed the town in 1881 and built a depot about a mile and a half west of the original site, most of the people and businesses moved with it. They called the community “New D’Hanis,” eventually dropping the word “new.” The railroad provided opportunities to send cattle, cotton and locally manufactured D’Hanis brick to distant markets. Today, “Old D’Hanis” carries the mystique of a frontier outpost, Fort Lincoln, which protected settlers from Indians raids from 1849 until 1851. The arched sandstone ruins of St. Dominic Church are a more tangible, yet haunting reminder of the old town. The church was constructed in 1853, expanded in 1869, and abandoned in 1914. Learn more about area history and the two towns with one name by spending a night at J. M. Koch’s Hotel Bed and Breakfast, a place with a past and perhaps a few friendly ghosts to boot. Built as a railroad hotel in 1898, the original building was constructed of wood and replaced by a brick structure in 1906. The hotel changed hands over the years and found new uses. But it has been restored to its original purpose. Furnished with Victorian-era antiques, there are five rooms and three porches where you can catch—and shoot—the breeze.