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Opening draws nearer for new Cuero museum

By Sonny Long
May 21, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.
Updated May 22, 2012 at 12:22 a.m.

The floor plan of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero that is expected to open in 2013. The recent Taste of the Trail fundraiser netted the museum about 300,000 for its Build-out Capital Campaign.

CHISHOLM TRAIL

2000 - Museum committee/board organizes.

2002 - First Taste of the Trail fundraiser held.

2002 - Knights of Pythias Hall (c. 1903) purchased to house the museum.

2004 - Master Plan for restoration of the building completed.

2005 - Restoration of the Knights of Pythias Hall begins.

2007 - Museum gets financial boost with $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration, $350,000 through a Save America's Treasures grant and a $100,000 donation from H-E-B.

2009 - Construction begins on museum annex.

2010 - Museum enters into loan agreement with the University of Texas at Austin to permanently exhibit the prestigious Horsemen of the Americas - Tinker Collection.

2010 - Building restoration and annex construction completed. Community meeting rooms available for rental.

2011 - Beverly Hadley hired as museum's first executive director.

2013 - Anticipated opening of museum.

CUERO - The finish line is in sight for the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.

The more than 12-year journey has an anticipated completion date next year.

"We expect to open in the summer of 2013. It's just about a year away," Robert Oliver, chairman of the museum's board of directors told a large crowd at the recent Taste of the Trail fundraiser on his ranch in Cheapside.

Taste of the Trail VI, held every two years, brought in about $300,000 to the museum's coffers, including more than $190,000 from the live and silent auction, Oliver said.

The donations helped push the museum's Build-Out Capital Campaign to more than 60 percent of its $2.1 million goal.

The build-out includes extended parking, green space and expansion of the museum's entry and gift shop area.

The project will also include a display area inside the front of the museum building that can be seen from the sidewalk and from Esplanade Street.

The green space behind the building is also being made possible through donors.

Lawrence and Linda Anzaldua bought the property behind the museum and donated it to the museum for the project. Oliver also thanked them and other donors during his remarks at Taste of the Trail.

The museum is housed in the historic Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103 at 302 N. Esplanade St., built about 1903. The project has included adding an annex to the building that houses the gift shop. Community meeting rooms that were part of the renovation are open and available for rental for meetings, receptions and other gatherings of various sizes.

For more information on the museum or renting the community meeting rooms, call 361-277-2866 or email executive director Beverly Hadley at Trailboss@chisholmtrailmuseum.org.

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