Fun Facts

  • The world’s longest digitally printed photo mural featuring 9 Porfirio Salinas landscape paintings which form a 15 foot high by 168 foot long wall, which serves as a backdrop for A Wild and Vivid Land: Stories of South Texas.
  • The Trail Drivers Monument, displayed in the courtyard, was created by noted American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who is well known for his sculptural talents creating Mount Rushmore.
  • What’s in a saddle?  Each has their own style and can be identified by the shape of the horn, which was used to tie off ropes.
  • For nearly a century, San Antonio was the largest city on the western frontier and was a hub of commerce.
  • Independent entrepreneurs who transported goods between cities were called “freighters.” They used ox-drawn wagons called carretas which could sometimes reach 250 carts in length.
  • Vaqueros were the original cowboys from Mexico. Their unique roping techniques were adopted by American cowboys and Native Americans.
  • The high crown on a cowboy’s hat was design to keep their heads cool in high heat; broad brims were designed to shade the eyes and neck.
  • One of the earliest fandangos, or dance halls, in San Antonio was called Madame Bustamante’s and it was located on Main Plaza, just south of San Fernando Cathedral.
  • Trail drives were important to the San Antonio economy in the 1880s. A cow in San Antonio was worth $1, but if the herd could be driven to Kansas City, they were worth $10 each.
  • San Antonio was known for its chili queens, who were vendors who sold chili con carne, enchiladas, tamales and coffee in the city plaza, which was where everyone in town ate breakfast and lunch.


What was San Antonio like 150 years ago? How did people live? Where did they work? What did they do for fun? Answers to these questions await you at the South Texas Heritage Center.


Hands-on fun for families begins here. Kids can try their hand at properly loading a burro, or balance a water yoke, navigate the hazards along the cattle driver’s trail and more.


It’s all here. The art, artifacts, stories and people who shaped South Texas, presented using the latest museum technology.