This 0.3–mile walking tour features 11 historically significant structures, starting at the Hileman/Riggs House (near the City parking lot) and ending at the Ross Barham House. A 12th structure, the Marnoch Homestead, is well worth seeing; however, because it is outside of the Old Town District, we suggest you drive.
In 1881, Arnold Gugger, a Swiss-American, founded downtown Helotes. He saw the potential of the area then known as “Helotes Crossing.” Throughout the farming seasons and during cattle drives, travelers stopped to camp at the intersection of Bandera Road and Helotes Creek.
Downtown Helotes began with a homestead, general store, blacksmith shop, and saloon. A boarding house and dance hall followed. For several decades, the town center, surrounded by large farms and ranches, remained little more than a “cow town,” a few buildings on either side of a dusty, packed earth road wide enough to accommodate cattle drives.
In 1992, the Texas Historical Commission awarded the town its first historical marker, recognizing Helotes as a historic settlement. A revitalization project was completed in 2010, and the MarketPlace at Old Town Helotes, which occurs the first Saturday of every month, brings in talented artisans and craftsmen, delectable food, and lively music.