Welcome to The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum
Applications now being accepted for the 2013 Cowboy Camp!
Saddle up and ride the Chisholm Trail at the third annual Cowboy Camp. Experience life on a Texas cattle drive and learn to live by the Code of the West. Learn to rope, tie knots and tool leather the Cowboy Way. Travel back in time and join up with saddle-weary wranglers relaxing around the campfire, singing their songs, telling their tales and reciting their poetry. Learn to cook cowboy grub from a chuckwagon: beans, beef, and biscuits baked in a Dutch oven. Yum!
Cowboy Camp will be held at the museum, 302 North Esplanade, Cuero, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 noon, August 12 – 16.
Download the Cowboy Camp application (PDF, 20 KB)
Download the informational flyer (PDF, 250 KB)
On Thursday, April 8, 2010, The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum Board of Directors hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of restoring Cuero's historic (c. 1903) Knights of Pythias Hall and construction of an adjacent 4,500 square-foot annex. The board successfully completed the building capital phase of the project with an investment totaling approximately $2,471,895. While the second floor of the historic building is fully functional as a multi-purpose community facility, the board has now set its sights on the design and build-out of displays and exhibits, which will be located on the ground floor of the building. Since the spring of 2010, the organization has hosted a multitude of events including regional seminars, wedding receptions, workshops, dinners, small conferences, art and jewelry shows, and other community functions.
Mission Statement: The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum's mission is “to preserve the ranching and western heritage of South Central Texas through interpretative exhibits, research, and educational programs.”
Take a ride back in time . . .
. . . to the year 1866. It is April 1, and with the coming of first light, eighteen hundred head of the toughest Longhorn cattle are gathered at Cardwell Flats, about four miles north of present-day Cuero, Texas. As the story is told, Crockett Cardwell had recognized the abundance of Texas cattle, coupled with the growing demand for beef. Seeing an opportunity, he called on his friend Thornton Chisholm to lead an ambitious cattle drive — all the way to St. Joseph, Missouri. And so this early morning, our story begins with the groan of a wagon wheel, the bawling of cattle and the rising dust, headed due North.
The intriguing lore of this early cattle drive is what prompted a group of dedicated area citizens to establish a museum preserving the history associated with the the great cattle drive era and Texas' rich ranching and agricultural history. When complete,The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum will preserve and showcase memorabilia and artifacts that will help bring the stories of cowboys and the cattle drive era to life.
The historic Knights of Pythias Hall (c. 1903), listed on the National Register of Historic Placesand a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, has suited our mission well. Now fully restored its second floor interiors have been handsomely adapted to the needs of a multi-purpose community facility. Furthermore, it has raised the bar of historic preservation standards in Cuero and is currently providing space for a multitude of meeting needs in the community. By rejuvenating this important building, we have added to the already impressive list of restored homes and public buildings in South Central Texas that have been preserved for future generations.
Many of the tributaries of the legendary Chisholm Trail originated in DeWitt, Victoria, Goliad, Refugio, Bee, Calhoun, Lavaca, and Gonzales Counties, making our area an integral part in the Reconstruction following the War Between the States. Numerous herds were driven to northern railheads, providing beef for Midwest and Eastern markets. These cattle herds also provided the foundation stock for cattle raised in the great American West.
Although none of the old trail hands are here to tell their amazing tales, their memory is still with us, and that's what The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum is here to preserve.