Before HemisFair ’68, or even The Alamo, the Payaya Indians, a Coahuiltecan-speaking group, occupied the land that is the Hemisfair District today and called the San Antonio River, Yanaguana. Once the Alamo Mission was established, the Hemisfair District became farmland to grow crops for the mission. The Spanish built the Acequia Madre de Valero to supply water.
In the 1800s, the Hemisfair District was a bustling neighborhood known as Germantown. A melting pot of immigrants, the neighborhood had more than 300 dwellings and was home to Rodfei Shalom Temple and, a block away, St. Michael’s Church.
The Hemisfair District has seen many transformations throughout history and is reinventing itself once more.