Heritage Tourism

Longhorn cow

Tough critters: native Longhorns made up the first herds of cattle to go “up the Trail.”

Our Regional Roots in Ranching Heritage.

The Longhorns, J. Frank Dobie

“The Longhorns,” 1941

Our Story Begins: It is April 1, 1866 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, local businessman 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.

Preserving the Chisholm Trail Legacy 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’ ranching and agricultural history. The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum will present the story of the Chisholm Trail through the unique lens of our own local history, and engage visitors in the rich heritage of DeWitt County and the surrounding area.

upstairs-beforeceiling_after Preserving a Significant Structure The historic Knights of Pythias Hall (c. 1903), listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Texas Historic Landmark, has suited our mission well. Now, fully restored its second floor interiors have been handsomely restored to serve as community meeting space. By restoring this important building and giving it a vibrant new purpose, 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. Cuero is recognized as a Preserve America Community for its local support of historic preservation.

The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum is actively involved in the local and regional museum community, as well as historic preservation initiatives. Some of our active affiliations:

Cuero is a Preserve America Community

Texas Independence Trail Region

Texas Historical Commission

Texas Association of Museums