In 1911, the Hermann Sons Life Grand Lodge and local lodges moved to 525 South Saint Mary’s Street, in what is now the Hermann Sons Home Association Building in downtown San Antonio. Eight local lodges continued to meet there when the Grand Lodge offices were moved next door in 1950.
From the early pictures of the building to now, its focal point was a stained glass window of Hermann the Cherusker. Hermann Sons Life members know that Hermann is our chosen namesake because of his leadership and valor. What you may not know about the stained glass window depicting him is that it was painted by a 21-year-old named Helen Ferne Goolsby Slimp. She was a talented artist who also created oil paintings. She lived to be 105 years old. The stained glass window is still a prominent part of the ballroom and top story of the building.
Being more than 100 years old, the window was cracked and broken in several places until a recent restoration project in 2016. Now, the board of the not-for-profit organization is looking to restore the smaller stained glass window above the front door.
This is an opportunity for members as well as neighbors and San Antonio residents to work together to restore this window and take pride in our group collaboration to accomplish it.
When Hermann Sons first started, members passed the hat to collect money for members in distress – we crowdfunded. In the spirit in which we were formed, we are crowdfunding to raise money for the restoration of this historical artwork.
We will have several events to help raise money for the window as well as restoration of the other parts of the building, including the Bowling Alley, which features 20 of the first automated lanes in the state of Texas.
If you want to find out about additional ways to help with this project, let us know. You also can share memories of your experiences in the ballroom and impressions of the stained glass window by commenting below. Help us preserve a part of San Antonio's history.