• Tell Us YOUR South Texas Story

    by Fran Stephenson | May 25, 2012

    We know there are more South Texas stories to be told and want to hear your story.

    Maybe it was your family’s livelihood or maybe something about your life, family, culture or traditions. Or it could be a great story that was told TO you by an uncle or a grandmother. We’d love to hear it here. Please share your story in the comments section below!

  • Ranching and Farming: Couldn't Live Without Them!

    by Fran Stephenson | May 24, 2012

    What kind of impact did ranching and farming have on South Texas?

    Huge doesn’t begin to describe the importance of these two industries on our culture and our history. How else would the mascots of the two biggest universities end up being called Longhorns and Aggies?

    Ranching and farming figured so heavily in the story of the region that two galleries in the new Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center are dedicated to them.  The first, the Dolph Briscoe Ranching Gallery, is full of objects, stories and themes about ranching. Visitors will see and touch virtual ranch implements, like shearer’s scissors, which dissolve into the story of how they were used and a video on shearing.  ...

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  • Early Culture Clash

    by Fran Stephenson | May 17, 2012

    San Antonio's melting pot in the late 1850s Created Conflict

    Bowie Knife, an item carried by many South Texans The clash of cultures is one of the themes we explore at the South Texas Heritage Center. Our country has long used the melting pot metaphor for settlement and the late 1850s is evidence of that. Many cultures moving into and through the region created friction to the point of war. Military presence was strong as the frontier’s edge was being pushed westward and conflict among the Plains tribes fractured Texas.

    Imagine being back in the 1850s and trying to buy what you need for your farm, but the shopkeeper speaks Spanish and you only speak German. Or you’ve come down from the Northeast to find no one understands your ...

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  • When San Antonio was the Crossroads

    by Fran Stephenson | May 15, 2012

    Sheer Size of Region Made it Tops on Western Frontier

    Cattle Drivers On the Trail in South TexasBy the middle to late 1800s, San Antonio was the crossroads of commerce.  It was the largest city on the Western frontier and had an economic diversity that was incomparable. 

    Three things kept San Antonio’s economy moving: freighters, cattle drivers and FM Roads.

    Independent entrepreneurs called freighters were the long haul truckers of their day. They kept goods and services moving in and out of the area using small ox-drawn wagons called carretas.  They used trails and roads that took them south to Laredo and parts of Mexico, east to New Orleans, all over the state of Texas and west to California. 

    Some freighters were known ...

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  • Grand Opening Weekend Events

    by Tim Smith | May 10, 2012

    Join us for a three-day grand opening celebration featuring hands-on activities, brand new live Gallery Theater, demonstrations and mini-demonstrations, and visits from Bandera on the Road and the San Antonio Living History Association! All activities are included with museum general admission.

    Saturday, May 26: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Sunday, May 27: Noon-5 p.m.
    Monday, May 28: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

    • Vaquero y Cowboy
    • Longhorn Connection
    • 1838: A Moment Between Wars


    • Ropes and Brands: Explore the ways cowboys and vaqueros used ropes and the different types they used. Learn how to use a branding iron and change a brand with a running iron.
    • Chuckbox Cuisine: Find out who the “Bean Wrangler” is and what he might carry in a chuckbox.
    • Dressing for ...