FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CUERO, TEXAS – Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission, announced this week that the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero is the 2014 recipient of the John L. Nau, III Award of Excellence in Museums. The Nau Award recognizes an individual or institution in the museum field for significant achievement in the areas of historical interpretation, museum education, conservation of collections, and/or community involvement.
Commenting on the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum’s recent achievement and commitment to excellence by its chairman and board of directors, Wolfe remarked, “as chair of the CTHM, this award recognizes your steadfast dedication and the efforts of so many others to open this exceptional facility in Cuero, Texas.” After a decade of historic preservation planning and action, property development, exhibit design and installation, CTHM opened to the general public on Saturday, November 23, 2013. Since that time, countless visitors from Cuero and the surrounding region, the state of Texas and many other states have made the trip to Cuero to view what many guests have called a first-class museum experience.
Wolfe added, “the interactive exhibits, curation of the world-class Tinker Collection, and the community and youth outreach efforts of CTHM made the museum an ideal candidate for recognition.” Robert Oliver, chairman of CTHM expressed gratitude to the Texas Historical Commission for their stewardship and professional guidance regarding the restoration of Cuero’s Knights of Pythias Hall, which Oliver recognizes as a cornerstone achievement of the organization. “Restoration architects, David Hoffman and Lewis Fisher were integral to the ultimate successful rehabilitation of the turn-of-the-century fraternal hall on Cuero’s main thoroughfare.”
Along with the award certificate, the Nau Award of Excellence in Museums also includes a stipend of $1,000 which will go to the CTHM to continue its interpretation, curation, and outreach efforts. This award comes at the heels of the Museum’s fifth year of hosting Cowboy Camp for local and area youth. Children learn several western crafts and activities, such as roping, leather tooling, horse etiquette, and chuck wagon cooking during a one-week period in August.
Recently, the Museum saved Cuero’s first school from demolition by the City of Cuero by moving the wooden structure on property behind the Museum’s historic building. Once restored, the former English-German School will again be used for education purposes. Oliver concluded, “the work of Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum has no end in sight. We intend to continue our mission to preserve the ranching and western heritage of South Central Texas through interpretive exhibits, research, and educational programs.”
The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum has received several other state-wide awards in the past several months, including the Texas Association of Museum’s most highly coveted award, The President’s Award, in 2014. The Texas Downtown Association awarded the Museum its 2013 Best Renovation / Rehabilitation Award, followed by its People’s Choice Award for Best Renovation of a Historic Structure at its annual conference in Bastrop.