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New museum opening in Cuero

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Nov. 20, 2013 at 5:20 a.m.

A pistol that belonged to outlaw John Wesley Hardin is on display at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero. The museum's grand opening and dedication is Saturday.

CUERO - Robert Oliver's face was filled with pride as the door opened, unveiling the exhibits in the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.

"Fourteen years," he said slowly, as if remembering specific events year by year. "This is the culmination of 14 years of work by a lot of people."

The museum will have its grand opening and dedication ceremony Saturday morning.

Oliver, the museum's chairman of the board, has spearheaded the project since a small group of community and civic leaders hatched the idea in 2000.

"After the many years of planning, raising the necessary funds and implementing our goals and objectives, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum has finally become a reality," Oliver said.

"The museum's board of directors join me in my sincere gratitude for a community that not only embraced the idea of a ranching heritage museum and community center but supported us through this long period of development."

Saturday's event at 302 N. Esplanade St. will include chuck wagon grub on the museum grounds, a dedication ceremony featuring remarks by former Gov. Mark White and Bobbie Greene McCarthy, former director of Save America's Treasures and museum tours.

The museum is in the historic Knights of Pythias Building built about 1903.

The exhibits include the Horsemen of the Americas - Tinker Collection, a world-class compilation of rare cowboy artifacts from North and South America on permanent loan to the museum from the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Also on display is a Colt Model 1877 revolver once owned by notorious American outlaw John Wesley Hardin, on loan from the Kurt House Collection.

The centerpiece of the museum is the main exhibit, titled "The Ranching Heritage of the Guadalupe River Valley."

Visitors will experience a walk through time, learning the story of cattle ranching in the Guadalupe Valley, its roots in cattle ranching before and after the great cattle drives of the late 1800s and the folklore of the Texas cowboy.

The museum also includes interactive features for younger visitors, oral history videos showcase classic Western craftsmanship and an original short film, "Pointing them North," is shown in the John and Mary Doe Trail Drive Theatre.

After Saturday's grand opening, the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older and $4 for children 5 to 17.

Children under 5 and active-duty military are admitted free.

The second floor of the museum features rooms available to rent for civic and business groups, social events and family gatherings.

For more information, call 361-277-2866.



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