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Home Texas Bexar County San Antonio Bowen's Island

Bowen's Island

  Texas Historical Markers
San Antonio, TX, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 29° 25' 48", -98° 29' 8.4984"
    Texas State
Historical Marker
     This tract of land is a natural peninsula in the San Antonio River. It once was bounded by the river on three sides and on the fourth by the Concepcion Acequia. In 1845 John Bowen, a native of Philadelphia, bought the property from Maria Josefa Rodriguez de Yturri for $300. Bowen and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, built a seven-room home on the island for their family of six children. Here they planted fruit trees and gravevines. On the east bank of the river, they built a waterwheel to irrigate their truck farm. During the 1840s and 1850s John Bowen served San Antonio as United States postmaster and city treasurer. He was a staunch Unionist and, according to family tradition, protected fugitive slaves. John Bowen died on the island in 1867 and was buried here. Bowen's Island was a well-known garden spot and a popular setting for social gatherings and celebrations. Here the first Volksfest was held, and the Turnverein, and German Athletic Club, performed. During the 1870s it was the site of Wolfram's Central Garden, a pleasure resort. Mary Elizabeth Bowen died in 1903. During the 1920s the river was diverted, and Bowen's Island became part of the San Antonio mainland. (1985)

This page last updated: 7/15/2008

Bowen's Island Historical Marker Location Map, San Antonio, Texas