Heidemann - UT Austin Research Project

Heidemann-Barrera Ranch

Mortar Analysis

Analysis and Report by Fred Aguayo, Racheal Lute, and Trevor Williamson

Presented to: ARC 385T

Conservation of Materials: Lab Methods

April 25, 2014



Mortar samples were collected from the Heidemann-Barrera historic ranch in San Antonio, Texas. After visual inspection, the samples were analyzed using several laboratory techniques: stereomicroscopy, acid-digestion, and x-ray diffraction. Results were analyzed in the context of existing literature related to historic mortars. Ultimately, the composition of the mortar was determined and recommendations made for restoration materials.

Site Overview

The Heidemann-Barrera Ranch is located on the east side of Toutant Beauregard Road in San Antonio, Texas, approximately 4 miles west of Interstate 10. The property is included in the National Register of Historic Places and contains several historic structures, most of which were built in the 1860’s. These include a 3 pen, vernacular dog trot log house, a 1 1⁄2 story cut limestone barn, a cut limestone smokehouse, a water well, a cemetery, and what is believed to be the kiln used for calcining lime used for construction of these structures.

Two German immigrants by the name of William Heidemann and William Hausman originally purchased the property in 1856. The two split the original 320 acres in 1873 when their ranching partnership fell part, and Heidemann was left with just over 171 acres. The land remained in the Heidemann family until 1993, when Jewell Heidemann sold the land to Roy Barrera, Sr. The Barreras currently own the land, but they primarily use the 1937 house and the 1860s structures remain largely unused. Read more.