CARSTANJEN-DIETERT HOUSE
438 S. Main
Library File #85
ID# 22826 ORIGINAL USE: Home PRESENT USE: Antique shop CURRENT OWNER: Jones
OWNERS:Otillie Carstanjen, Ernst Dietert, Lois & David Epperson LOCATION: Graham LOT#:5 DATE: c1907 Style/Period: VictorianHISTORICAL DESIGNATION: NO
BUILDERS: Ed Clemens CONSTRUCTED OF: Wood/Frame Siding CONDITION: Good DESCRIPTION: One story, Victorian, L-shaped with "gingerbread" trimmed porch. Siding later added.

HISTORY: From 1907 until 1978 the Dietert home was used by some member of the family. Changes and additions were made in 1919 and 1947. When family or friends were asked what they particularly liked about the house they replied, "Oh, the beautiful hunting scene etched glass, and the carved trimmings on the front door," or they would say, "The kitchen, with the sky blue beaded ceiling and the blue, green and white curtains." And then, "the old wood stove with water heater on the side." This was later replaced by a fancy green enamel wood stove which is still in the same place in 1979. The back door is also decorated with carvings.

There is an unusual feature of transoms over three of the doors, to encourage breezes through the house. Carpenters and builders appreciated the floors which were made of full length 1" x 4" flat and edge grain pine boards, from 14' to 16' long in each room. All knot free lumber was used with unique 1" x 4" O.Gee siding, 2 1/2 times thicker than ordinary clapboard. The beaded 1" x 4" ceilings were 11' 6" high, but a few have been lowered to 7' 6". Doors are all four paneled, which shows the strength of every detail of the house. these doors are of 1 3/8" solid wood with iron locks and white porcelain knobs. All details were very durable and fine for the date of construction.

To sum up this description as others saw it, this lovely well built Victorian home, with Gingerbread trim around the front porch, is one of the early beautiful and comfortable show places of Main Street in Boerne. It was built early in 1907 by Ed Clemens for Rudolf Carstanjen. Mrs. Bertha Dietert believed that Mr. Carstanjen built two other very similar houses next to this one, all for his three daughters, hoping they would settle someday in Boerne. However the houses were never used by his family. This made it possible for the Dietert's to purchase this house and spend the rest of their lives there. Bertha Dietert lived there until her death, September, 1966. Their son Clarence (born in this house April 23, 1914) and his wife Doris Dietert had their public accounting business office in a portion of this house for about twenty five years, until they sold it in September 1978.

In the large back yard there is a red barn "as good as new", and nearby in fine condition is a real "out house", a WPA, constructed during the "Great Depression of the Thirties". Among the many trees in the yard there are Ratamas, Box Elders, and Pecans to bring welcome shade. A 20' alley gave more depth to the lot and permitted a spacious view to the trees and the Cibolo River beyond.

In 1978 Mr. and Mrs. David Epperson purchased the Ernst and Bertha Dietert home at 438 South Main Street in Boerne, Texas. They put some of the original shutters back on the house and did a little painting, but otherwise left the house as it was for many years. It is now a fine antique and gift shop, using every room for display and sales. ...The Accent was formally opened October 7th and 8th, 1978. It was a gala affair, with family members in costumes of early days in Boerne.

Source: Nelle Marie Huff paper, "Ernst and Bertha Pfeiffer Dietert Home" from files in the Boerne Public Library.

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