Cuero is filled with history and fun stories to learn about and share with your family and friends. There are five museums to explore here, so look around and enjoy --- and see what you would like to know more about.
Join us at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum to explore the true stories of the Longhorn, the great cattle drive era, and the American cowboy! Designed by Texas architect James Wahrenberger (1855 – 1929) and built in 1903, the former Knights of Pythias Hall in Cuero, Texas, is now home to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum and Friar-Thomas Multi-Purpose Community Facility. Already a beacon of cultural renaissance in our proud South Central Texas town, the Museum has become a heritage center; preserving and celebrating the rural ranching tradition that is our shared birthright as Texans.
The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum has won numerous awards over the past several years, including the 2013 Texas Downtown Association’s Best Renovation/Rehabilitation Award followed by its People’s Choice Award for Best Renovation of a Historic Structure at the association’s annual conference in Bastrop.
The Texas Association of Museum’s highly prized, President’s Award, was bestowed on CTHM in 2014, and in December 2015, the Texas Historical Commission awarded CTHM the John L Nau Award of Excellence in Museums. The Nau Award recognizes an institution for significant achievement in the areas of historical interpretation, museum education, conservation of collections, and/or community involvement.
Most recently, Preservation Texas awarded CTHM a 2016 Honors Award for the Renovation of the former Knights of Pythias Hall and the San Antonio Conservation Society awarded CTHM a 2016 Historic Preservation Award for the rehabilitation of Cuero’s historic (c. 1903) Knights of Pythias Hall.
Our Grand Opening Success
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, we welcomed our first visitors to our ground floor exhibit area. From the early roots of ranching in Texas and the Americas, to the great cattle drives of the late 1880s, and on into the sunset of an era, our walk-through storytelling environment takes you to the heart of the cowboy experience. Meanwhile, have a look at some of the local craftsmen and ranchers who continue the art of crafting spurs, saddle-making and the raising of cattle on local ranches.
Ranching Heritage of the Guadalupe River Valley
From the early roots of ranching in Texas and the Americas, to the great cattle drives of the late 1800s, and on into the sunset of the trail drive era – our walk-through storytelling environment takes you to the heart of the cowboy experience. Carefully curated to preserve true authenticity, we take you beyond Hollywood myth to get up close and
personal with the real cowboys of the time, whether they be rustlers, lawmen or cranky camp cooks
Horsemen of the Americas: Tinker Collection
The Museum is highly honored to host this special collection of horse-related artifacts from Latin America, on permanent loan from the University of Texas at Austin. The collection celebrates the shared pride in craft and horsemanship among the ranchers and cowboys of the Americas; showcasing exquisite craftsmanship.
Community Center Available for Events
Beautifully restored rooms that once hosted the ceremonial and social activities of the Knights of Pythias are now open to the community and available for civic and business groups, social events and family gatherings. Fully accessible and well equipped to handle the AV requirements of business meetings, our community rooms are also the perfect choice for social gatherings. The catering kitchen is conveniently located adjacent to the rooms and word’s getting around – the handsome, high-windowed rooms are quickly becoming the desirable venue for stylish weddings! Event Rental Information call 361-277-2866.
The Museum Gift Shop is conveniently located on the first floor and offers a lovely assortment of gifts and cowboy history books and decor.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and additional times by appointment.
124 E Church Street
This building, built in 1915 for $62,000, was home to the Cuero Post Office and other Federal offices. The Post Office was moved to a new building in 1962. The remaining Federal offices were gradually moved to other locations, leaving the fine old building vacant in 1987. The City of Cuero was able to acquire the building, without monetary consideration, if it were used for historic purposes. In support of this, the City proposed to use the building as a city museum with ongoing exhibits. It was also proposed that the Cuero Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture office be relocated to the building thus assuring that the building would be open regularly. The remaining rooms would be used as the museum and would be named the Cuero Heritage Museum. This building is listed in the National Historic Register.
The old F. W. Bates - H. D. Sheppard home, which has been designated by the DeWitt County Commissioners Court as the DeWitt County Historical Museum, was erected by the late F. W. Bates in October-November 1886. The land was purchased from the Cuero Land and Immigration Company.
Mr. Bates' wife was the former Elizabeth Sheppard of Indianola, Texas, and her two brothers, Joseph and Henry Sheppard, left homeless and motherless by the great hurricane of August 20, 1886, assisted in construction of the Bates home. Further, together with Mr. Bates, the two Sheppard boys returned to Indianola, collected lumber from the remains of the Sheppard home, and brought the lumber to Cuero, where it was incorporated into the Bates home. Other material for the house was purchased from H. J. Huck and Co. in the amount of $383.50.
The house was remodeled in 1925 with the addition of an upstairs bedroom and two indoor bathrooms. The present kitchen was also added at that time. Prior to 1925, the single bathroom had been situated in a separate building connected by an extension of the open porch to the main house. One chimney served the kitchen cook stove, the coal stove in the dining room, and the wood stove in an upstairs bedroom. The rest of the rooms, including the living room and other bedrooms, were unheated. The house became a County Museum in 1973.
Outbuildings included a large barn on the lots where the former Stratton Hospital now stands, a three-room storage house, and a large chicken coop where the poultry for Sunday family dinners was kept. These outbuildings were removed in 1951. A one-car garage was added in late 1920 and has since been removed. The house was sold by the family in 1968. An authentic log cabin ca. 1865 was placed on the Museum gorunds in 1968.
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
For more information, please call 361-275-6322
The Pharmacy and Medical Museum of Texas is a dream come true for Mr. Joe Reuss. For years Mr. Reuss had a vision of creating an educational museum focusing on the pharmaceutical and medical fields and also to preserve Cuero’s rich history in these areas. Coming from a multi-generational medical and pharmaceutical family “that never threw anything away,” Mr. Reuss has a vast collection of material that deserved to be preserved and displayed in an appropriate setting. With the closing of the Valumart Pharmacy in 2013 the building, already owned by Mr. Reuss, became the ideal location for a museum.
The building, built in 1889, by the Heaton Brothers, was designed to be a pharmacy/drugstore and never housed a different type of business until it became a museum. The interior is amazingly intact with the original 1889 wall cabinets, display counters and the pharmacist’s preparation bench in their original locations. The first floor has been beautifully restored and houses displays of items from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. Walking through the various displays, one quickly realizes that early pharmacy/drugstores sold just about everything, not just medicines and medical equipment.
In November of 2013 ownership of the Museum was transferred to the City of Cuero and it became a branch of the Cuero Heritage Museum. Currently, funds are being sought to compete the renovation of the second floor were an early medical doctor’s office, a dentist office as well as other medically related items.
The Museum is staffed with docents who are very knowledgeable and enjoy interacting with visitors and explaining the various exhibits. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
515 North Esplanade
In 1845, German immigrant, Dr. Joseph M. Reuss established a drug store under his name at the old seaport of Indianola. In 1872, learning the railroad would be built in Cuero, he opened a branch store in this city with his eldest son, Dr. August J. Reuss as operator. Following the 1875 hurricane, Dr. J.M. Reuss moved what was left of Indianola store and medical practice to Cuero and consolidated his business. He lived in Cuero until his death in 1908.
J.M. Reuss & Son Drug Store operated in the same building on Main Street in Cuero for 99 years. In 1971 Mr. Joe B. Reuss, great-grandson of Dr. J.M. Reuss moved the business to its present location at 515 N. Esplanade Street in Cuero. To preserve the many pieces of pharmacy memorabilia, a museum was incorporated into the new pharmacy's format.
The Pharmacy Museum is open during regular business hours; Monday through Saturday, 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
(361) 275-3411 or (800) 444-3761
More information can be found on the website www.reusspharmacy.com