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When local attractions, homesteads, acreage and recognizable landscapes make it into the fine art realm, we always appreciate our community even more. The history of Herff Ranch is no different. A genealogic lineage that adds a colorful history to the Boerne legacy, Herff is forever immortalized in the work of local artist, Larry Tarrillion. Ferdinand Ludwig Herff (1820–1912) was a 19th Century German-born physician who immigrated to Texas and became a medical pioneer in San Antonio. Being a personal physician to Richard King of the Kind Ranch, as well as providing medical care to many indigenous (Mexican/ Native Americans) in the San Antonio area, helped secure the prominent stature of one such family in the Boerne area.
Larry Tarrillion has recorded a portion of Boerne history by painting an architectural site located on the Herff Ranch and a snow storm that showered the Texas hill country in the early part of 1982. Appropriately titled, Snow on the Herff, a stone farm house is nestled among its acreage of trees, complimented by an old windmill and the necessity of an old water tank.
Tarrillion’s color is of soft neutrals with patches of blue sky warming the day as the snow begins to melt on the ground. There are no footprints on the lofty snow drifts which offer a sense of insulation, solitude and quietness on a day when the sun’s rays have broken through the atmosphere. However, there is evidence of occupancy as noted by the smoke emitting from the chimney.
The brush strokes are thin small and deliberate capturing the stillness and beauty after the storm.
The central feature of the painting is the two story house and its prominent strength of hill country design which includes a windmill and tank to supply water to the family. There is quiet strength, beauty and harmony as the joy of nature has passed through the Texas Hill country. The home is guarded by a fence line so very typical of the farm and ranch land of our area.
The full lot of Herff Ranch is now part of the ever expanding housing development of the Boerne area that has prompted many debates, (pro and con) on the eminent urban sprawl of the San Antonio encroachment.
The house pictured in Snow on the Herff is currently in restorations and is part of the Cibolo Nature Center.
By: Betty Houston and Gabriel Delgado