Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Search for Charles Schreiner's Tunnel

A window to nowhere,
Schreiner Company, Kerrville.
I was given a quick tour Tuesday of the renovation project underway at the old Schreiner Department Store building on the corner of Earl Garrett and Water Street in Kerrville -- what a nice job they are doing there.  The remodeling effort is going well, and I'm sure the project will be first class when completed.
I particularly love the old stone walls, and the story they tell.  You can see where additions and changes were made to the building over time.
As you probably remember, I have spent a good deal of time (and some effort) looking for the old tunnel that supposedly connects the Schreiner store with the adjoining Schreiner Mansion.   This fabled tunnel has been
the subject of rumor for many years.
In fact, I was talking with a member of the Schreiner family last month, and she confirmed that the tunnel exists, at least in family lore.
So there must be some evidence of the tunnel left in the architecture of the old building.   Here are some of the photos I took during the tour -- I encourage you to comment below on your theories about the tunnel.
Click on any image to enlarge
Second floor, Schreiner Building, Kerrville
Photo taken in area between mens' wear and house goods, November 2010

Looking from men's wear toward ladies' wear, Schreiner store, Kerrville

Window to nowhere, Schreiner store, Kerrville
Under the Water Street windows, in the shoe department

Gap in the wall which has been filled in with rock.
Could this be the tunnel?

Another gap in the wall which has been filled in.  This one is in the oldest part of the building.

Another gap in the stones which has been filled in and covered.
Spectral light was not visible to the naked eye.


  1. My father told me that he had heard of the tunnel connecting the mansion to the store. He also told me that during the Depression, Schreiner's sold some goods on credit downstairs for a slightly higher price that the cash price upstairs. He remembered that when the store closed in the afternoon, all the employees would stand on the sidewalk and wave to Capt. Schreiner as he drove away from the store.

  2. Why haven't the gaps and 'filled in' areas been drilled? If the tunnel could be opened up it would be a wonderful historical addition to the mansion. I think the ghost is trying to point the way with that beam of light! They should start with that particular gap & see what is on the other side.

  3. Try to arrange a tour of the Schreiner Mansion basement. The basement wall may reveal the tunnel entrance.

  4. Just think of all the people that would come just to tour the tunnel. They should try and reopen it. I think it would be interesting! What a great part of History this would be to Kerrville.

  5. Decades ago, I was given a tour of the old Schreiner Mansion. The tour guide mentioned there was a tunnel that led from the home's basement to the store.

    I know that is not conclusive proof that the tunnel exists, but it makes the story a little more interesting to me.

    In addition, the existence of a tunnel is logical, so it very probably does exist.

    Joe, perhaps the President of Schreiner College would allow you to tour the Schreiner Home basement.

    It can't hurt to ask. :)


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