AKA Half Moon
If you´ve got nothing to do, why not do it in Shiner?
29° 25' 51" N, 97° 10' 20" W (29.430833, -97.172222)
U.S. Highway 90A and State Highway 95
14 miles W of Hallettsville
the county seat
20 miles S of Flatonia
18 miles E of Gonzales
ZIP code 77984
Area code 361
Population: 2,162 Est. (2019)
2,069 (2010) 2,070 (2000) 2,074 (1990)
Shiner, Texas Area Hotels
Hotels | Gonzales
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 Moon.
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
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
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.
The 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 McCoy.
The response to the Mexican request for the cannon was: "Cannon?
We ain't got no cannon. We don't need no stinking cannon."
Sorry. Wrong dialogue.
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
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.
Shiner 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?
Billed as "The Cleanest Little City in Texas", it certainly
lives up to it's name.
entrance and threshold
Photo courtesy Stephen
Michaels, July 2008
TE photo, July 2008
TE photo, July 2008
Cast iron threshold
- business unknown
courtesy Carl Owen, 2009
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.
Wire Works which is across the street from the brewery, also
has tours, but by appointment. They celebrated their Centennial
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.
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
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
An 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
Park in downtown Shiner features historic gazebo and various
monuments, and is where Shiner shines with its lighting display
beginning Dec. 1.
Municipal Park 361-594-3362
Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 221
810 N. Avenue E, Shiner, Texas 77984-0221
Phone: (361) 594-4180
Area Hotels :
Courtesy John Frasier
County - Towns & Ghost Towns
10 or 11 miles north of Shiner (the maps and signs differ) on Hwy
Suggested 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.
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
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 to Cuero
and DeWitt County, just a short drive away.
TE photo, July 2008
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact