29° 5' 37"
N, 97° 17' 28" W (29.093611, -97.291111)
from the north on Hwy 183 / 77A. The road becomes Esplanade.
On both sides of the road are palms, oaks and yucca representative
of the varied vegetation of DeWitt
County. The county, we are told, contains the most varied
soil types of any county in Texas. As it was explained to us,
is to soil what Llano
County is to rock."
Esplanade is one of Cuero's
two major streets; the other being Broadway. Main Street at Esplanade
is the heart of the Historic Downtown Business District and begins
the area of antique and specialty shops. Resplendent with 19th
century architecture, this is a wonderful place to take a stroll and
soak up the local flavor.
The Chamber of Commerce is located three blocks south of Broadway
at 124 E. Church Street (361-275-2112) in the beautiful 1915 post
over 50 buildings on the National Register and three Historic
Turkeyfest is the
second weekend of October
Mike Cox ("Texas Tale" column)
Does a zoologically unknown, blood-sucking creature prowl the South
Texas mesquite?... Whatever the hairless creature is, it has stimulated
the local economy a bit and given Cuero
international name recognition. The initial Associated Press story
on the critter got worldwide play, all the major broadcast and cable
networks have done stories, and the Discovery Channel has filmed two
segments on the mysterious animal. The Canions agreed to display the
head at the annual Cuero Turkey Fest and it drew quite a crowd...
history of Cuero
is interwoven with that of Indianola.
Many Cueroites moved here from there, dismantling their homes and
hauling them by ox-cart to escape the hurricanes that obliterated
that one time rival to Galveston.
The DeWitt County Museum, 312 Broadway, housed in the Bates-Sheppard
Home, is among those that were shipped board by board and reconstructed
after the 1886 hurricane.
The museum is also home to the DeWitt County Wildflower Association
during the month of April.
in DeWitt County
The DeWitt County Wildflower Association is an indefatigable
bunch of Cueroites who every April share their wildflowers
with those of us who live in counties that are wildflower deficient.
Gathering and arranging specimens in
The DeWitt County Museum, arranging bus tours and furnishing
guides for visitors is just a small part of what they do. Every
year they publish the Lanes and Byways April Journal,
an informative guide on the best viewing areas and anything and everything
pertaining to wildflowers.
A New Wildflower
Texas Highways Magazine's June 1998 issue noted the discovery of a
new wildflower by Derek Muschalek, a local naturalist who became interested
in flowers from his interest in birds and now we hear he is paying
attention to butterflies. Could this be the man to fill Roy
Bedechek's long vacant shoes?
Ley; How DeWitt County Officially Became Wildflower Capital of Texas
Head south on Hwy 77 (Esplanade) and cross the railroad tracks.
You will see a sign for Arneckeville.
Follow the arrow and watch for the signs on your right. There will
be two of them.
After leaving the Cuero
city limits you'll notice a few miles of feathery trees on your right
and down. These are Cypress trees along the
banks of the Guadalupe
After you've gone about seven miles from town, start looking for a
sign on your right for Zion Church Road. The sign is next to
a cattle guard, the first of three that you will cross to reach the
cemetery and church. This Lutheran Church and its cemetery
has been the anchor of this German settlement since 1868. If it looks
familiar, you may have seen it in statewide publications. It is a
favorite of photographers.
is southwest of Cuero on Hwy 72 and in addition to their own
wildflower program there's a hiking/biking trail along Coletto Creek
next to the Yorktown Historical Museum in the historic 1848
Eckhardt Building. Inside the museum see the piano that survived
both Indianola hurricanes. On the corner of Main and Eckhardt Streets.
The drive to DeWitt
County is a pleasant trip in itself,
take time to enjoy:
There from Austin -
An easy drive with some pleasant diversions, Hwy 183 takes you right
without switching highways. Major towns of Lockhart and Gonzales
are conveniently placed at 1/3 intervals.
Lockhart is barely
30 minutes from Austin so you may want to eat a light breakfast
to sample some of the barbecue that Lockhart is famous for.
Two of these restaurants are within one block of the square and
one is right on the highway just South of town.
The impressive 1894
courthouse is one designed by Alfred Giles of blue limestone
trimmed with red Pecos sandstone. The Chamber of Commerce
has a complete brochure, with points of interest as well as a good
On the way to Gonzales
you'll pass through Luling,
a textbook example of a railroad town, famous for its Annual Watermelon
Thump (June, last Thur-Sat). The Luling Chamber of Commerce
address is 421 E. Davis, Luling, TX 78648. 830-875-3214.
Continue past I-10 to Gonzales,
"The Lexington of Texas". I don't know how this
motto sits with the citizens of the town of Lexington
in Lee County.
But we all know (or should know) what they mean. Lots of history
here. One of J. Reily Gordon's courthouses
from 1894 graces the center of town and the old jail houses
the County Historical Museum. This city is certainly a destination
in itself. Their Chamber's number
from San Antonio
- 85 miles
You can drive directly to Cuero
on Hwy 87 which is a pleasant, unhurried and scenic trip or if you've
read or seen "True Women" by Janice Woods-Windle
you may decide to take I-10 East to old US 90 and enter Seguin
which is the setting for the popular book and TV movie. The
book has certainly generated interest here and tour brochures are
available to show homes and sites featured in the book. Contact
the Seguin Chamber at 427 N. Austin, 78155. 830-379-6382.
continue on Hwy 90 to Gonzales.
Lots of history here. One of J.
Reily Gordon's courthouses from 1894 graces the center of town
and the old jail houses the County Historical Museum. Contact
Gonzales Chamber of Commerce at 830-672-65632. At Gonzales
you'll take Hwy 183 South for the last one third of the trip.
on Cuero is very helpful to this Chamber doing its job.
... We have more to offer the tourist today than we did three years
ago ... Turkeyfest is the second weekend of October and Ruby Begonia,
our racing turkey, can now claim 'Fastest Turkey in the World' as
she beat Paycheck, Worthington, MN's bird last October.
Our Cuero Heritage Museum, located with the Chamber in the Federal
Building, now has a permanent exhibit 'Cuero Talks Turkey' which
features pictures and memorabilia from past Turkey Trots
(1912 and later) and 29 years of Turkeyfest.
Our downtown historic district has new shops and is a wonderful
area architecturally. .....
Thanks for helping us to show that life in Cuero is the way life
ought to be! - Sincerely, Sara Post, Executive Director, Cuero,
Texas 77954. April 12, 2002
enjoying the articles about my beautiful hometown and am glad to
know that other nature lovers and travellers are discovering our
hidden treasure. - Teresa
page first published 1998
© John Troesser