Great Grandfather Schramm's Saloon in Shiner, Texas."|
- Jay Francis,
photo circa early 1900's
a Pecan Shell|
Shiner began life in the mid 1880s as a trading post/ post office named Half
In an oft-repeated Texas story, the town was bypassed by the
railroad. In 1887 the San
Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway (SAAP) decided to accept an offer made by Henry
B. Shiner of 250 acres of land for a depot and right-of-way if the railroad would
divert through his property. People started moving to the future town as if the
rails had a magnetic pull.
For brief period the town tried to get by with
the name of New Half Moon, but a year after the arrival of the railroad
the name was changed to Shiner. It incorporated in 1890 and very early on became
predominately Czech and German.
The area has remained a cotton
and corn producing
region with ranching contributing
greatly to the economy. The Spoetzl brewery and their variations of Shiner Beer
has made the town “a household word” throughout the state of Texas.
population of Shiner has remained relatively unchanged since 1990 when it was
recorded as 2,074.
TWO, THEY'RE SMALL"|
Small town artillery
Every October 2, Shiner's neighbor Gonzales
commemorates the anniversary of the first shot fired for Texas independence.
The original cannon was buried to avoid capture and was thought lost until a flood
uncovered it in 1936. Since this coincided with the Texas Centennial, there were
doubts to it's authenticity. Tests conducted in 1980 confirmed it to be the real
The response to the Mexican request for the cannon was: "Cannon?
We ain't got no cannon. We don't need no stinking cannon."
History and the rebel's flag records the true response
to be "Come and take it!" So Gonzales
has a "Come and Take It" celebration, with a reenactment every
Several times it has been proposed that Shiner have a "Come
and take this!" celebration. But the individual has been outvoted and is
usually escorted from the building.
citizens are called Shinerites. This is probably the reason they changed the name
from Half Moon. It's hard enough to be a Moonie, but a half Moonie?
as "The Cleanest Little City in Texas", it certainly lives up to it's
Shiner Area Hotels - Book Here &
TE photo, July 2008
TE photo, July 2008
iron threshold - business unknown
photo, July 2008
back alley textures
photo, July 2008
courtesy Carl Owen, 2009
Landmarks & Attractions
The Spoetzl Brewery
603 E. Brewery St. 361-594-3383
This is perhaps
the main draw for those who visit Shiner. As you may have gathered by their recent
ad campaign, Shiner Beer is "Brewed with an attitude". You can tour
the brewery (Winter Monday thru Friday 11a.m. & 1:30p.m.; Summer 10& 11
a.m., 1:30 & 2:30p.m.) and find out for yourself what kind of attitude. Check
out their gift/shop museum.
The Kasper Wire Works
which is across the street from the brewery, also has tours, but by appointment.
They celebrated their Centennial in 1998.
The introduction of barbed wire
in 1874 put a serious crimp in smooth wire sales. It was either attach all those
barbs or find another use for it. This is exactly what August Kasper did. From
a simple woven wire basket, they are now one of the largest manufacturers of fan
guards, fry baskets, and newspaper racks in the world. If you have lost money
in one of these racks, do not ask for a refund here. The coin mechanism is not
made by Kasper. The fact that you couldn't remove a paper after losing your money,
well, that demonstrates the quality of the product.
Edwin Wolters Museum
exhibits Shiner's past and is open Mon.-Fri. 8-5, which isn't too convenient if
you are a weekend visitor. You can move to Shiner, or wait for the 2nd or 4th
Sunday when it is open 2-5 P.M. 306 S. Ave. I. 361-594-3774
1895 Opera House,
now called The Gaslight Theater puts on about three performances per year.
Check with the chamber at 361-594-4180.
Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church
architectural jewel is the 1921 Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church,
a red brick Romanesque Revival style structure with painted murals and magnificent
stained glass windows imported from Bavaria.
Park in downtown
Shiner features historic gazebo and various monuments, and is where Shiner shines
with its lighting display beginning Dec. 1. Green-Dickson
Municipal Park 361-594-3362
Chamber of Commerce P.O.
810 N. Avenue E, Shiner, Texas 77984-0221
Phone: (361) 594-4180
Website: http://www.shinertx.com/ Shiner
Area Hotels - Book Here & Save:
Texas Nearby Destinations:Moulton
11 miles north of Shiner (the maps and signs differ) on Hwy 95.
slogan: Try writing on our water tower.
Now if your town was closest to Shiner,
"The cleanest little city in Texas", why even try? But they do try,
and they succeed.
Moulton Chamber of Commerce, 361-596-7205.Palmetto
State Park is
not that far a drive from Shiner and a good way to spend a day in a setting unusual
for this part of Texas. Take Alt.90 west, then north via US183 and FM1586 to Park
Road 11, which is a scenic drive through the park. Come here to see the exceptional
variety of plants, many tropical, some found no where else in the Southwest.
and DeWitt County
For a weekend in the country, Shiner can be your take off point to enjoy the open
gently rolling pastures so characteristic of this part of Texas.
See our trip
and DeWitt County, just a short drive away.
bridge over Boggy Creek, on the grounds of the Shiner Brewery.
was relocated from Caldwell County)
TE photo. More Texas
TE photo, July 2008
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact
John Troesser |
First published Summer, 1998