Preserving Cuero

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record

A native of Refugio, Robert Oliver has spent the majority of his life in Cuero. He has worked constantly to preserve, revive and restore old buildings in the city. One of the major projects he has been a key part of is the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, which hosted the Oct. 6 Cuero Development Corporation Community Leaders’ Meeting.

After working for 25 years in Colorado, Oliver came back Cuero in 1995, where his mother’s side of the family has called home for many years.

In the late 1990s, initial meetings were held to discuss forming a museum “to preserve the ranching and agricultural heritage of DeWitt County and surrounding areas in South Texas,” as stated on their website (chisholmtrailmuseum.org).

Restoration of the old Knights Pythias Hall at 302 N. Esplanade, which houses the museum, was completed in April 2010. Over the years, the museum has received many treasures from the late 19th Century, including North, Central and South American artifacts donated to the University of Texas at Austin.

Oliver stated, “Cuero is very blessed to have a great inventory of artifacts.”

Visitors from all over the world have toured Cuero’s Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum. Earlier this year, a couple from New Zealand and a family from France enjoyed its features.

Students in the area are often able to learn at the museum. One of the yearly opportunities for young children to take in the museum is at Cowboy Camp held each summer.

Oliver has also helped to restore other historical building in town, including the English-German schoolhouse, which was gifted to the museum, and the Hamilton Building.

As the museum is not funded by the City or County, an admission fee is charged. Memberships are also available to support the museum. For more information, contact their office at 361-277-2866. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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