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 Annual Events  Museums  Dining  Live Entertainment  Outdoors  History  Shopping  Quality of Life  Healthcare  Education  Demographics  and More

JUST VISITING OR RELO CATING, FIND EVERY THING YOU NEED A Special Publication of The Gonzales Inq Inquirer nqui uire ire rerr

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Come and Take It! And Stay Awhile.

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Gonzales Welcome to

We beleive in Preserving and promoting our history. We are Growing our small town and improving our quality of life. We want you to

“Come and Take It� Gonzales was the site of the first battle of the Texas Revolution on October 2, 1835. The Come and Take It flag was born from that battle and Gonzales is still home to the cannon that started that battle. Today, Gonzales is still rich in history, but we are much more.






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City Hall is located at 820 St. Joseph Street. Call us at 830-672-2815 or visit

TA BL E OF C ON TABLE ONTENT TENTS Gonzales History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Historic Neighborhoods, Homes . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Neighborhood Walking Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Museums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Events Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


hether you’re coming to visit or relocating, Gonzales County has much to offer anyone. Located in the heart of South Texas, the county is dissected by the historic Guadalupe River and has a diverse economic base. History is one of the greatest assets of Gonzales County. This is where the first shot for Texas independence was fired. That shot led to a rich history, including the Alamo in San Antonio and the eventual winning of independence near Houston. Gonzales was critical to the development of the great state of Texas. Tourists to this area will find it rich in history and can explore various opportunities to learn even more. Whether it’s the historic museum located on Smith Street, a walk through the courthouse or visiting the Chamber of Commerce, there are many ways to discover the history of Gonzales County.

DISCOVER GONZALES COUNTY i s a p u b l i c at i on o n of of

The Gonza all e s In qu i r e r

Eagle Ford Shale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Parks and Area Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Promoting Gonzales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Healthcare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Free maps of Gonzales, Gonzales County and county towns are available at the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce, The Gonzales Inquirer and Pioneer Village Living History Museum.

For 160 years, You’ve Been #1 to US! During our year-long celebration, we’ve received quite a few # 1’s including:

1st place Readers’ Choice -Media

1st place

Recognized by:

Editorial Writing

• Gonzales County Residents & Readers

1st place Special Sections

1st place

• South Texas Press Assoc.

Photographer of the Year

1st place

• Gulf Coast Press Assoc.

Writing TheFeature Sam Houston Oak is located about 10 miles east of Gonzales off U.S. Highway 90A.

1st place

• Texas Press Assoc.

Feature Photos

1st place


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Come & Tour Gonzales

Historic Holiday Home Tour

★ Drive or walk the streets of the Best Kept Secrets in Texas ★ Explore our Historical Homes & Buildings ★ Enjoy Bird Watching ★ Take in a Rodeo ★ Shop our Specialty Stores & Boutiques ★ Discover our Parks & Rivers

December 7 and 8 2:00 to 6:00 pm Sponsored by: Historic Homes Association and Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Some of the most beautiful homes in Texas can be seen each year! It’s a Holiday Must!

Gonzales Chamber & Visitor Center

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Gonzales Chamber of Commerce 1-830-672-6532

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Although hardly good for little more than starting horse races,

it was a cannon

that lit the fuse of independence for what would become Texas


he Mexican Constifrom town without the cannon. tution of 1824 libPonton anticipated that Ugareralized the countechea would send more troops to try’s immigration force the handover of the cannon. policies, allowing As soon as the first group of soldiers foreigners to settle left Gonzales, Ponton sent a mesin border regions such as Mexican senger to the closest town, Mina, to Texas. In 1825, American Green request help. DeWitt received permission to setWord quickly spread that up to The Come and Take It cannon tle 400 families in Texas near the 300 soldiers were expected to march is on display at the Gonzales confluence of the San Marcos and on Gonzales. Stephen F. Austin, one Memorial Museum. Guadalupe Rivers. of the most respected men in Texas The DeWitt Colony quickly became m a ffavorite me aavvorrit itee raid ra raiding aid din ingg ta target arg rget e et and an d the t e dee facto th faccto leader leaade derr of of the the he settlers, sent messengers to inform of local Karankawa, Tonkawa, and Comanche tribes, and in July surrounding communities of the situation. Austin cautioned Tex1826 they destroyed the capital city, Gonzales. The town was reians to remain on the defensive, as any unprovoked attacks against built the following year, after DeWitt negotiated peace treaties Mexican forces could limit the support Texians might receive from with the Karankawa and Tonkawa. The Comanche continued to the United States if war officially began. stage periodic raids of the settlement over the next few years. On Sept. 27, 1835, a detachment of 100 dragoons, led by FranUnable to spare military troops to protect the town, in 1831 the cisco de Castañeda, left San Antonio de Béxar, carrying an official region’s political chief instead sent the settlers of Gonzales a sixorder for Ponton to surrender the cannon. Castañeda had been pounder cannon, described as “a small bored gun, good for little instructed to avoid using force if possible. more than starting horse races”. When the troops neared Gonzales on Sept. 29, they found that During the 1830s, the Mexican government wavered between the settlers had removed the ferry and all other boats from the federalist and centralist policies. As the pendulum swung sharply Guadalupe River. On the other side of the swiftly moving river towards centralism in 1835, several Mexican states revolted. In waited 18 Texians. Albert Martin, captain of the Gonzales militia, June, a small group of settlers in Texas used the political unrest as informed the soldiers that Ponton was out of town, and until his an excuse to rebel against customs duties, in an incident known as return the army must remain on the west side of the river. the Anahuac Disturbances. The federal government responded by With no easy way to cross the river, Castañeda and his men sending more troops to Texas. made camp at the highest ground in the area, about 300 yards Public opinion was sharply divided. Some communities supfrom the river. Three Texians hurried to bury the cannon, while ported the rebellion for a variety of reasons. Others, including others traveled to nearby communities to ask for assistance. Gonzales, declared their loyalty to Mexican President Antonio By the end of the day, more than 80 men had arrived from FayLópez de Santa Anna’s centralist government. Local leaders began ette and Columbus. Texian militias generally elected their own calling for a Consultation to determine whether a majority of setleaders, and the men now gathered in Gonzales invoked their right tlers favored independence, a return to federalism, or the status to choose their own captain rather than report to Martin. John quo. Henry Moore of Fayette was elected leader, with Joseph WashingAlthough some leaders worried that Mexican officials would ton Elliot Wallace and Edward Burleson, both of Columbus, resee this type of gathering as a step toward revolution, by the end spectively elected second and third in command. of August most communities had agreed to send delegates to the On Sept. 30, Castañeda reiterated his request for the cannon Consultation, scheduled for Oct. 15. In the interim, many comand was again rebuffed. Texians insisted on discussing the matmunities formed militias to protect themselves from a potential ter directly with Ugartechea. According to their spokesman, until attack by military forces. this was possible “the only answer I can therefore give you is that On Sept. 10, a Mexican soldier bludgeoned a Gonzales resident, I cannot now [and] will not deliver to you the cannon”. Castañeda which led to widespread outrage and public protests. Mexican aureported to Ugartachea that the Texians were stalling, likely to give thorities felt it unwise to leave the settlers with a weapon. Colonel reinforcements time to gather. Domingo de Ugartechea, commander of all Mexican troops in In San Antonio de Béxar, Ugartechea asked Dr. Launcelot Texas, sent a corporal and five enlisted men to retrieve the cannon Smither, a Gonzales resident in town on personal business, to help that had been given to the colonists. Castañeda convince the settlers to follow orders. When Smither Many of the settlers believed Mexican authorities were manuarrived on Oct. 1, he met with militia captain Matthew Caldwell facturing an excuse to attack the town and eliminate the militia. to explain that the soldiers meant no harm if the settlers would In a town meeting, three citizens voted to hand over the gun to peacefully relinquish the cannon. forestall an attack; the remainder, including alcalde (Spanish for Caldwell instructed Smither to bring Castañeda to the town magistrate) Andrew Ponton, voted to stand their ground. the following morning to discuss the matter. At roughly the same The cannon became a point of honor and an unlikely rallying symbol. Gonzales citizens had no intention of handing over the weapon at a time of growing tension. The soldiers were escorted Continued on Page 8 6

Before the Alamo...


Come and Take It!

Challenge was issued....

We invite you to come and take it today. t4FFPVSNVTFVNT t4FFIJTUPSJDIPNFT t4FFUIFIJTUPSZ

Come and take a tour! Tour Gonzales from the palm of your hand! CO



IT city of O

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And the people of Gonzales told the Mexican soldiers,

‘Come and take it’ Continued from Page 6 time, Moore called a war council, which quickly voted to initiate a fight. Texians dug up the cannon and mounted it on cart wheels. In the absence of cannon balls, they gathered metal scraps to fill the cannon. James C. Neill, who had served in an artillery company during the War of 1812, was given command of the cannon. He gathered several men, including Almaron Dickinson, together to form the first artillery company of Texians. A local Methodist minister blessed their activities in a sermon, which made frequent reference to the American Revolution. As the Texians made plans for an attack, Castañeda learned from a Coushatta Indian that about 140 men were gathered in Gonzales, with more expected. The Mexican soldiers began searching for a safe place to cross the river. At nightfall on Oct. 1 they stopped to make camp, seven miles upriver from their previous spot. Texians began crossing the river at about 7 p.m. Less than half of the men were mounted, slowing their progress as they tracked the Mexican soldiers. A thick fog rolled in around midnight, further delaying them. At around 3 a.m., Texians reached the new Mexican camp. A dog barked at their approach, alerting the Mexican soldiers, who began to fire. The noise reportedly caused one of the Texian horses to panic and throw his rider, who suffered a bloody nose. Moore and his men hid in the thick trees until dawn. As they waited, some of the Texians raided a nearby field and snacked on watermelon. With the darkness and fog, Mexican soldiers could not estimate how many men had surrounded them. They withdrew 300 yards to a nearby bluff. At about 6 a.m., Texians emerged from the trees and

began firing at the Mexican soldiers. Lieutenant Gregorio Pérez counterattacked with 40 mounted soldiers. The Texians fell back to the trees and fired a volley, injuring a Mexican private. Unable to safely maneuver among the trees, the Mexican horsemen returned to the bluff. As the fog lifted, Castañeda sent Smither to request a meeting between the two commanders. Smither was promptly arrested by the Texians, who were suspicious of his presence among the Mexican soldiers. Nevertheless, Moore agreed to meet Castañeda. Moore explained that his followers no longer recognized the centralist government of Santa Anna and instead remained faithful to the Constitution of 1824, which Santa Anna had repudiated. Castañeda revealed that he shared their federalist leanings, but that he was honor-bound to follow orders. As Moore returned to camp, the Texians raised a homemade white banner with an image of the cannon painted in black in the center, over the words “Come and Take It”. The makeshift flag evoked the American Revolutionary-era slogan “Don’t Tread on Me.” Texians then fired their cannon at the Mexican camp. Realizing that he was outnumbered and outgunned, Castañeda led his troops back to San Antonio de Béxar. The troops were gone before the Texians finished reloading. For several days, the Texians continued to stall the Mexican troops as they assembled an army. By Oct. 2, 1835, the army was vast enough to hold the Mexican army at bay, eventually forcing a withdrawal. Subsequently, the Texian army continued to expand in Gonzales. Over the course of the next six months, several conflicts were fought such as the Battle of Lipantitlan, the Battle of Concepcion and the famous Battle of the Alamo. However, it was not until the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, that General Sam Houston’s Texian Army finally defeated the Mexican Army, leading to Texas’ independence from Mexico.

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Shopping in Gonzales means antiques, gifts and so much more


ust three blocks north of the historic Confederate Square in downtown Gonzales, antique shoppers will find an unbelievable inventory of great American furniture (1820-1900), from early high-style New York pieces to Texas primitives at Laurel Ridge Antiques, 827 St. Joseph Street. Shop two floors of the turn-ofthe-century home that now houses more than 4,000 square feet of great beds, dressers, armoires, desks, dining tables and chairs, china cabinets and china ... along with great fine art and decorative accessories, and Christmas ornaments. Shop owner Barbara Crozier writes frequent articles about 19th century American antiques for Texas Home and Living magazine. One block closer to downtown, Discovery Architectural Antiques is one of the largest architectural antique businesses in the Southwest. The staggering inventory offered by Suzanne Kittel at Discovery brings homebuilders and designers from far and wide to shop for doors and door knobs, windows and stunning stained glass, lighting and pressed metal ceilings, and timbers and flooring of all descriptions. Their comprehensive custom mill services can tailor any of the architectural treasures you find to fit the needs of your restoration or new construction project. One street over at Country Collectibles on St. Paul Street, shoppers will find country collectibles, and a great deal more. Browse glassware, bric-a-brac and small vintage furniture, pictures and posters and, possibly, exactly what you didn’t even know you’d been searching for all along. Right next door at The Emporium, shoppers just never know what they’ll find in the eclectic mix. A tumble of antique firearms and tools and sporting goods, metal lawn chairs and apothecary jars, keys and chains and Christmas decorations, glassware, stuff and nonsense await intrepid treasure-hunting hounds. Farther afield, at the crossroads of U.S. Highways 183 and 90A, shoppers will find J&G’s Antiques and Collectibles. Their cozy one room shop is filled with glassware, bottles and small furniture. They specialize in all things old, and their aim is to try to have something for everybody. Antique shopping in Gonzales is turning into an adventure that truly does offer something for almost everyone … whatever treasure they seek.


here are plenty of places to shop in and around Gonzales County. There are several specialty stores, a jewelry store, florists and more. You can find make-up, embroidered and specialty items, handmade crafts and almost anything your heart desires. A few of the local specialty shops and retailers have been listed. Angels and Outlaws 726 St. Paul Street, Gonzales, 830-857-6889 The China Basket 617 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 830-672-8013 Country Collectables 608 St. Paul Street, Gonzales, 830-672-7413 Craft Crossing 614 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 830-203-5303 D & D Liquor 102 W. Wallace Street, Gonzales, 830-672-9477 Discovery Architectural Antiques 409 St. Francis Street, Gonzales, 830-672-2428 Edwards Furniture 703 St. Paul Street, Gonzales, 830-672-2911 H-E-B 1841 Church Street, Gonzales, 830-672-7595 Hearty Gourmet 813 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 830-672-4438 Landmark Tents 1507 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 512-799-9512 Laurel Ridge Antiques 827 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 830-000-0000 Main Drug Company 201 N. Nixon Avenue, Nixon, 830-582-1851 Mohrmann’s Drug Store 413 St. George Street, Gonzales, 830-672-2317 Shear Designs 805 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 830-672-7127 Storey Jewelers 607 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales, 830-672-2402 WB Farm and Ranch Supply 2031 Water Street (U.S. Highway 183), Gonzales, 830-672-7997


Thank You Gonzales For Voting H-E-B Readers’ Choice In:

• Best Place to Work • Cashier • Catering • Deli • Donuts • Floral • Pizza • Pharmacy We know you have a choice of where to shop. That’s why we work hard to bring you the freshness, quality, service and everyday low prices you deserve. Thanks again Gonzales for casting your votes for H-E-B. ©2013 HEB, 13-2015

Our Old Houses

Gonzales among elite with selection to Best Old-House Neighborhoods


he editors of This Old House have tracked down more than 60 great neighborhoods that have promising futures, strong communities and homes that truly deserve a long-term commitment. And Gonzales represents Texas. All of Texas. In 11 different categories. nd This Old House scoured the United States and Canada to find unique, tight-knit neighborhoods for its annual search for thee Best Old-House Neighborhoods. Many of the places might not be on everyone’s radar, but deserve to be, according to the magazine’s editors. features 61 great spots, 51 in the U.S., 10 in Canada — and, for 2012, only one in Texas — that fit the criteria of old-house neighborhoods: Architectural diversity, craftsmanship of the homes and the preservation momentum in the area as well as neighborhood amenities, including walkability, safety and community. With the help of, neighborhood groups, real estate agents and preservation societies, This Old House compiled its list of the best places to fall in love with one-of-a-kind period houses and bargains in need of a DIY remodel. The winning neighborhoods are also divided into categories such as Best Bargains, Best for Retirees, Best American Heritage and more. This Old House is America’s premier home enthusiast brand, netting 50 million multi-media impressions each month through its award-winning television, print and web properties. The leading consumer publication for home how-to and inspiration, the awardwinning This Old House magazine currently has a circulation of 950,000 and reaches an audience of almost six million. In its description of Gonzales, This Old House said: Local history buffs know Gonzales as “the Lexington of Texas,” where the battle for the Lone Star State’s independence got underway. It happened in 1835, when the settlement fought off a 100-manstrong Mexican army attempting to retrieve a cannon the Mexican government had given them to thwart Native American attacks. After a brief battle, the army left empty-handed — a failure that’s re-en-

acted each October during the town’s Come and Take It festival. But history isn’t all that this town of 7,000 is concerned about. Gonzales’ well-preserved downtown is popular for tourists, who love its bedand-breakfasts, restaurants serving hearty local fare, and antiques shops. They also come to tour the Shiner Brewery, located in the nearby town of Shiner. The Houses Most were built near the turn of the century, when the city’s cotton and cattle industries were booming thanks to the railroad, which allowed easier transport. They include elegant examples of Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, and Italianate houses and cottages, as well as Greek Revivals. Prices start at $60,000 for fixer-uppers and top out around $575,000. Why Buy Here? In the last 10 years, Gonzales has welcomed residents from larger cities who are looking to live in a small town within driving distance of jobs in Austin or San Antonio, both about an hour away. Michelle London and her husband, Mark, relocated from Chicago to manage two bed-and-breakfasts and have no regrets. “We’re here less than a year, but we love it,” says Michelle. Gonzales is close to state parks,


Continued on Page 14

Continued from Page 12 lakes and several golf courses, making it attractive to retirees as well. Gonzales was chosen for the 2012 Best Old-House Neighborhoods in the following categories: American Heritage History Happened Here – From Revolutionary War battlegrounds to western frontier towns, the sites and scenes of our country’s heritage often happened in someone’s, well, backyard. So for those with a true appreciation of history, a house in one of these locations satisfies the penchant for proximity. Lots to Do Keeping It Moving – If you’re single and looking to buy a home, you probably want to end up in a place where you won’t feel like you’ve been relegated to boring suburbia. With plenty of restaurants, brewpubs, dance clubs or theaters, these are places where both the young — and the young at heart — can find the old house of their dreams. Parks and Recreation The Outdoorsy Type – Fancy yourself a fly fisherman? Or how about an avid hiker? These neighborhoods are all located near mountains, lakes, streams, or even hunting grounds that’ll give you plenty of adventures right outside your door. Fixer-Uppers Definitely for the DIYer – We know how much This Old House readers love a good home-improvement challenge. And these neighborhoods offer excellent opportunities for anyone looking to take a diamond in the rough and polish it into a lasting gem. Small Towns Where Everybody Knows Your Name – Maybe it’s a monthly potluck, maybe it’s an annual parade, maybe it’s being able borrow a tool when you’re fixing up that spare room. There’s nothing wrong with a small-town sensibility. And these compact communities prove why. Walkability On Your Feet – For those who prefer leaving the car in the driveway every once in a while, these places offer safe, pedestrian-friendly streets and amenities such as grocery stores and restaurants just a few blocks away. The South Say It With a Southern Drawl – For those who love steamy summers, sleeping porches, and a slower pace of life, the South is calling out to you. Here are a collection of charming towns and ‘hoods south of the Mason-Dixon Line with beautiful old homes to offer. Retirees Enjoying Your Sunset Years – If your working days are over and you’re looking for a new place to put your feet up, we know just where you should go. Golf courses, hiking trails, spirited communities, and good health care make these places ideal for anyone looking for a great old house in which to spend their golden years. Cottages and Bungalows Compact Charm – For those who prefer small and cozy to big and fancy, these neighborhoods offer Queen Anne cottages, Craftsman bungalows, and other small and special spaces that’ll make you feel right at home. Bargains The Price Is Right – Want a lot of house for as little money as possible? Then check out these affordable neighborhoods. Some are a bit off the beaten track or require a tad of TLC, but the price tag and quality of living add up to terrific value. Easy Commute More Time for Yourself – Tired of spending half the day in the confines of your car? These places are all located close enough to cities—sometimes within the cities themselves—and other employment centers to make that drive to work and back as quick and pleasant as possible.

Take a walking tour Park your car at the Old Jail Museum at the corner of St. Joseph and St. Lawrence, and enjoy this 1.3 mile walking tour through Gonzales. Tour Directions 1 Old Jail Museum, 1887, 414 St. Lawrence* Used as the county jail until 1975, cells and gallows occupy second floor, law-and-order artifacts on first floor. 2 Fire Station and T41 Steer weather vane The T41 weather vane represents one rancher’s brand and his desire to advertise his occupation. 3 Gonzales County Courthouse, 1895* Designed in form of Greek cross by renowned Texas architect J. Riely Gordon, Romanesque Revival courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors may walk through the historic building. 4 Church Square* First United Methodist Church, 1900 First Baptist Church, 1903 426 St. Paul and 422 St. Paul, respectively. Part of the public lands grant for the City of Gonzales, now permanently leased to First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches. (Gothic Revival) 5 Edward Lewis House, 1910 605 St. Louis – Mrs. Lewis’ grandfather, Andrew Ponton, was Alcalde (mayor) of Gonzales in 1835. 6 Paul Levyson House, 1877 612 St. Louis – Greek Revival/Symmetrical Victorian 7 Randle House, 1898 624 St. Louis – Built by architect W.A. King. Former home of James Polk Randle, prominent Gonzales merchant. (Victorian) 8 J.B. Kennard House, 1895 621 St. Louis – Designed by J. Riely Gordon, this late Victorian residence is one of a few of its type remaining in Texas. Glass and pottery chip mosaics in gables. Queen Anne/Shingle Style. National Register of Historic Places Marker. 9 Episcopal Church of the Messiah, 1881* 721 St. Louis – The oldest public building still in use for its original purpose. Pulpit and altar are of Guadalupe Walnut. (Gothic Revival) Continued on Page 16



ales Inqui onz r G



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OLLECTABLES An Eclectic Mix of Architectural Elements

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Continued from Page 14


onzales is the most historic town in Texas. It was the very center of the Texas revolution in 1835-36, and 40 years later, it became a financial center as men made their fortunes in cotton and cattle. Lavish lifestyles resulted in large homes and buildings that have been preserved for more than 100 years. To date, more than 80 historic properties have been documented. The list is far from complete and research continues. The Gonzales Historic Homes Association (HHA) was formed in October 1996. The HHA has three goals: Preservation of the history and the historic homes of Gonzales, the promotion of Gonzales as a tourist destination and the beautification of Gonzales. All money raised by the HHA-sponsored Historic Homes Tours is used to further these goals. To date, the HHA has donated more than $61,000 to various projects. The Winterfest Tour of Historic Homes has become a very popular tourist attraction, with more than 600 people attending the December 2009 tour. Gonzales is very fortunate to have homeowners who are willing to open their homes, taking on all of the hard work and expense in order to promote the uniqueness of Gonzales. Contact the Chamber of Commerce for more information and for maps of the historic homes. Some homes now have a “talking” feature so you can hear about them on your car radio.

10 Episcopal Rectory, 1890 721 St. Louis – Rectory and church are on the site of Cemetery Square, as designated in 1832 Mexican survey. 11 Gonzales Junior High School 1940/41 400 N. College – The gym, auditorium and school buildings were a WPS project. The vocational building was built one year before. 12 Gonzales College, 1851* 820 St. Louis – One of the first women’s colleges in Texas, it was built with stone from Maurin quarry 10 miles away. It has been restored as a private residence. (Greek Revival/Victorian) 13 Rather House, 1892* 828 St. Louis – Built during the “Cotton was King” era for C.T. Rather, cotton planter and banker. (Greek Revival/Victorian) 14 Charles Hoskins House, 1911* Architect was Atlee B. Ayres, designer of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium and Randolph Air Force Base Tower. (Classical Revival) 15 Sam H. Hopkins House, 1911 912 St. Louis – A.B. Ayres designed this house for Hopkins, an attorney. (Classical Revival/Prairie School influence) 16 Frank Vrazel House, circa 1910 1006 St. Louis – The Vrazel gin was located next door to the house. (Prairie School) 17 P.R.I.D.E., 1890 1034 St. Louis – Residence converted into a daycare center. (Victorian) 18 Guadalupe Apts., 1920* 1118 St. Louis – Built as a hospital by Dr. George Holmes, converted to apartment building in 1978. 19 Memorial Museum, 1936* 414 Smith – Built to commemorate “The Immortal 32” and those who died in service to the Republic of Texas. Houses the iconic Come & Take It cannon. Murals on the wall by James Buchanan Winn. Hours: 10 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. 20 Midkiff House, 1905* 1222 St. Louis (Prairie School) 21 Eggleston House, circa 1845 1300 block of St. Louis – Oldest standing structure in the city. Built by H. Eggleston on the Guadalupe River, it now sits on City Park. (Dog-run log cabin) 22 DAR House, circa 1930. Behind the Eggleston House. Mrs. Murphy had the structure built for Boy Scouts by relief workers under the direction of State Park Supervisor Louis H. Scholl. It was later turned over to the Daughters of the American Revolution. 23 Edward Sweeney House, 1926 1109 St. Lawrence – Surrounded by spectacular oaks, this house was built by Edward Sweeney, descendant of J.C. Dilworth, early Texas banker. (Cotswald Cottage or English Tudor)

24 G.W. Betts House, circa 1888 1025 St. Lawrence – Long-time residence. Later residents claim existence of ghosts. (Victorian) 25 Dr. C.B. Patton House, 1907 927 St. Lawrence – No fireplaces, was heated by a coal-burning furnace located in the basement. (Classical Revival) 26 Robert Scott Dilworth House, 1908 903 St. Lawrence – Designed by noted architect J. Riely Gordon. 27 G.F. Burgess House, 1897 803 St. Lawrence – Good example of Eastlake design, this house was built by Congressman George Burgess. 28 Dunn Houston House, 1898 619 St. Lawrence – This residence remains essentially unchanged from its original appearance. A brother’s home by same architect is one block north, with similar floor plan, different facades. (Queen Anne) 29 At corner of St. Lawrence and St. Peter, note the cap well beside the modernized structure. 30 Crystal Theatre, 1917 511 St. Lawrence – Operated for many years as the New Playhouse, silent films were shown with a pit orchestra performing. The Crystal now serves as a dinner theater, with performances during the year and a children’s workshop in the summer. 31 You may end your walking tour by going through the historic downtown area, including Confederate Square, which honors Confederate War dead, or Texas Heroes Square to the west. *denotes Texas Historical Marker 16

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Pioneer Village


onzales Pioneer Village Living History Center is an outdoor museum featuring a collection of 1800s houses, outbuildings and businesses. It is located north of the intersection of Business U.S. Highway 183 and U.S. Highway 90A. Pioneer Village stands as a monument of history with its collection of buildings on a 12-acre tract which is part of the original Spanish cross design for the town of Gonzales. This project started as a way to save endangered historic structures in Gonzales County and has gradually evolved into a living history museum where school children from all over South Texas tour to learn about their heritage. The 10 buildings restored at Pioneer Village include houses ranging from an 1830s split-log house to an 1890s Greek Revival house, and businesses where a blacksmith and broom maker ply their trade on special days. Because all of the buildings which have been brought in and restored are from Gonzales County only, they are a showcase for the architectural history of this area. The 1880s St. Andrew Street house is home for the village office and a very unique gift shop. The 1870s Hamon Church has been the location for many weddings, church services, memorial services and other events. On special occasions the village serves as a backdrop for costumed historical re-enactments and skill demonstrations. Some of the special events that take place at the village are the Dutch Oven Cook-off and Melodrama, First Shot Battle Re-creation and Stars in the Village (1800s Trail of Lights). Pioneer Village is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Adult admission is $5, admission for children 4 to 11 years old is $3, and children under 3 years old are free. Special event admission is $8 for adult and $5 for children 4 to 11 years old. Group tours should be scheduled two weeks in advance. Group tour admission is $3.50 per person.

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102 W. Wallace @ Water St. • Gonzales 830-672-9477 Steve & Jane Wehlmann, Owners

Number One Family Attraction in Gonzales! Step back into early day Texas In Authentic Settings and Buildings from where Texas had it’s beginning.

Memories to Last A Lifetime! Whether you are a history buff or need a timeless location for your next event, Pioneer Village offers endless opportunities w its location and rustic charm. with Check out our website! • School and Group Tours • Weddings • Birthday Parties • Reunions 2122 N. St. Joseph ★ Gonzales ★ (830) 672-2157 ★ 18

History comes alive at Gonzales Memorial Museum The “Come and Take It” cannon, “Immortal Thirty-Two” monument and “Runaway Scrape” teapot tell the story of Texas’ struggle for independence from Mexico, which began in Gonzales in 1835 Gonzales Memorial Museum

Eggleston House

Gonzales Memorial Museum and Amphitheater was built in 193637 as a Texas Centennial project, and is owned by the city of Gonzales. The museum property was originally part of Gonzales State Park that was dedicated in 1913 and deeded back to the city in 1936. Historical artifacts, including the “Come and Take It” cannon and the “Runaway Scrape” teapot, are included as exhibits of the museum. The museum also contains two wall murals depicting the exploration of Texas’ history and culture. This hidden jewel of Gonzales is a designated State Archeological Landmark, Texas Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building, designed by the noted architecture firm of Phelps and Dewes, is made of Texas shell stone trimmed in Cordova cream limestone. The building contains two wings divided by a large rotunda, which serves as the entrance. The back wall of the amphitheater features a beautiful marble memorial mural honoring the 18 men who defended Gonzales in 1835. The “Immortal Thirty-Two” monument, designed by the architecture firm of Page and Southerland, is constructed of a shaft of axed Texas pink granite with a bronze sculpture attached to the face. Designed by well-known sculptor Raoul Josset, it overlooks the reflecting pool and pays homage to the 32 men who answered Gen. William Travis’ call at the Alamo. There is no admission fee to the Gonzales Memorial Museum, but donations to the restoration of the museum are welcome.

The Eggleston Log House was built in the 1840s by Horace Eggleston. Logs were hand-hewn and notched in half dove-tail fashion. Visitors are encouraged to step onto the porch of the house and activate the speaker box, which provides a description of the building and two illuminated rooms. There is no admission fee to the Eggleston House. The museum is at 414 Smith Street, and Eggleston House is located behind the museum. Both the museum and Eggleston House are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For tours and information, contact the museum curator at 830-672-6350 or via email at, or visit the city’s website at

Home of the “Come and Take It” Cannon Welcome to Gonzales! We hope you will visit our fascinating musuem and learn all about Texas History. 414 Smith Street Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday 1 - 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and City Holidays CO






les Me morial Museu m Admission is free, donations for the museum


are welcome. Donations can be made to the Gonzales Memorial Museum, PO Box 547, Gonzales TX 78629. 5 CT 83 OBE R 2, 1


Your journey starts at the Old Jail For an intriguing museum and information from the chamber of commerce


rchitect Eugene T. from the Gonzales Fire DeHeiner designed the partment in the downtown hisbrick structure to toric district. It is open 8 a.m. hold 200 prisoners to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 under riot conditions. Conp.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. tractor Henry Kane and Snead Sunday. & Company Iron Works conIt also houses the Gonzales tracted to build the jail of conChamber of Commerce ofcrete and steel for $21,660.20. fices. Enter an entrance hall which was once the sheriff ’s office. he Gonzales ChamTo the left were three rooms, ber of Commerce kitchen and bath used as the & Agriculture confamily living quarters for the tinues a tradition its sheriff or jailer. forefathers began back in 1922 All of the ceilings are made and it has been known through of corrugated steel and conits membership to play a macrete. On the lower floor are jor role in the development display cases for articles taken The Old Jail, 414 St. Lawrence Street, downtown Gonzales of the area. Over the decades from prisoners, and informathe Chamber has remained a tion on the sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement officials who vital part of the community and there has also been group of individuals who join forces to see that Gonzales County continues to grow. served through the years. At the end of the hall is the dungeon, where the only light and air Through these efforts and a variety of incentives, businesses both small came from holes above the door. There is a jailer’s bedroom and the and large have located here, improving the economy and improving quality of life. “women and lunatics” cell. Among the improvements, beginnings and responsibilities unThe second and third floors feature a large room known as the runaround, which is two stories high and was not used for hardened crim- dertaken by this group of businesses, organizations and individuals inals. The death cells are at the front of this room, and feature doors of are improvements to the railroad spur, the Gonzales Airport, begun two-inch iron strips forged and fused through the use of heat, borax in 1941, a county master program for highways in the county, which and hammer, since the jail was built before welding was invented. In includes topping 8.5 miles between the old Holmes Hospital on East each wing of the room are two-story metal cells, built as rooms within Avenue and the Peach Creek bridge. The Chamber is organized to work in partnership with business, a room and featuring more of the riveted doors. The last gallows were last used in 1921 and were torn down in the industry and government to promote commerce and tourism while 1950s. They stood in the run-around next to the third floor walkway. enhancing its citizens’ quality of life. This is done through the three The present gallows are an exact reproduction. Large doors to the cell committees that conduct the work of the chamber. The Agriculture Committee promotes the local agriculture indusblocks feature small swing-out doors with bars, from which the jailer could observe the prisoners and inside the room are levers that opened try by educating the general public on the economic impact ag businesses and products have on Gonzales County. This area is home to and closed latches on the cell doors. Note the small diagonally shaped coal stoves in the far corner of clay mining, egg processing, feed, farming equipment sales and supplieach cell. At the end of each wing is a recessed arch where a large wood ers, hatcheries, livestock auctions, licensed feed lots, livestock hauling, meat processing, mushroom production, nurseries, poultry equipment stove was used. There were six legal hangings in Gonzales, the first in 1855 between suppliers, poultry processing, truck dealers, veterinary equipment and the jail and the jailer’s house that were on Market Square. In 1878, it supplies, veterinarians and clinics. The Business Committee promotes a healthy business climate by was estimated that 4,000 people “arrived as to a feast to witness the human suffering and shedding of blood” of Brown Bowen. Another supporting the existing business community and encouraging new investments. hanging was in 1881. The Community Committee attracts commerce through joint efAfter this jail was built, the first permanent gallows were built in it in 1891 and used again in 1897. Albert Howard’s hanging on March 18, forts with community organizations in beautification and revitalization efforts and public relations activities. 1921, was the last held in Gonzales County and this jail. The Chamber office is located in the Old Jail Museum and serves A legend persists that while Howard was in jail, he became obsessed with the clock on the courthouse, keeping strict attention to the num- as the Visitor Center for the area, promoting business and tourism, ber of hours he had to live. He swore his innocence would be shown greeting visitors and newcomers, offering information and tours to all by the clock, that none of the four faces would ever keep the same time who come. Office hours and Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., again if he was hanged. Through the years, the faces have rarely been Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. consistent. Gonzales Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture The Old Jail Museum features rebuilt gallows, original cells, and 414 St. Lawrence Street, Gonzales  (830) 672-6532 sheriff ’s and jailer’s quarters. The Old Jail Museum is located at 414 St. Lawrence Street across




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Activities for 2013 Waelder Fiesta Guacamole – August 31-September 1 Sacred Heart Catholic Church Jamaica – September 14 First Shot Barbecue Cook-Off – September 20-22 Come & Take It Celebration – October 4-6

Martin Luther King Jr. Walk – Third Monday in January Waelder Livestock Show – February 15 Denim & Diamonds (Norma’s House Gala) – February 23 Texas Independence Day – February 28 (observed) Gonzales Livestock Show – March 1-2 Nixon-Smiley Livestock Show – March 8-9 “Gettin’ Hitched” Bridal Fair, Prom & Spring Fashion Show – March 16 Texas Independence Relay – March 22-23 Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale – March 23 Relay For Life of Gonzales County – April 5 Southwest Donkey and Mule Show – April 5-7 Pioneer Village Dutch Oven Cook-Off/5K Run – April 27 Cinco de Mayo Celebration – May 4 Texas Junior High Rodeo Finals – May 27-31 Main Street Summer Concert Series – Fridays in June

Nixon Wild Hog Cook-Off – October 19 ICA Cattle Sale – October 25 Pioneering Women – October 26 Barn Sale – November 1-2 Tammy McKinny Memorial Team Roping – November 10 WrapN3 Barrel Racing – November 24-25 Winterfest – December 6-8

The Summer Concert Series is held at 6 p.m. each Friday in June. The concerts are free. The concert series concludes with the “Star Spangled Spectacular,” an Independence Day celebration and fireworks display at Confederate Square.

A lighted Christmas parade kicks off Winterfest activities on the last Friday in November. Other activities include an arts and crafts show, Silent Santa Chili Cook-off, Historic Homes Tour and Stars in the Village. Contact 830-672-2815 or

Youth Rodeo Association Finals – June 18-23 Star Spangled Spectacular – July 4 PBR Touring Division Bull Riding – July 13 Crystal Theatre Children’s Workshop – July 15-26 Texas Youth Rodeo Association – July 23-27

Gonzales celebrates its important role in the Texas Revolution on the first full weekend of October each year with the Come & Take It Festival. It’s fun for the whole family, and events include a biergarten, food booths, arts and crafts, musical entertainment, battle re-enactment, carnival, parade and much more. Events are held on the downtown squares in the historic town, among structures built in the 1800s. Call 888-672-1095 or visit

Lighted Christmas Parade & Market – December 6 “Stars in the Village” – December 6-7, 13-14 Santa’s Market – December 7 Historic Home Tour – December 7-8 Three and 1/2 Amigos Cutting – December 27-29 22






5 CT 83 OBE R 2, 1

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f you were just waking up from a 10-year nap, you might not recognize the tranquility you remember in Gonzales County. The flurry of oil and gas activity that has descended on the county has everyone – from the owner of a small lot in town to the large landowners – dreaming of oil and gas royalty payments. Terms such as “pipeline easements, lease bonuses, royalty percentages, land men, survey crews and fracking,” just to name a few, are commonly overheard at the local coffee shops. The potential for a windfall of revenues in Gonzales County is everywhere. The first indicator of this phenomenon, known worldwide as the Eagle Ford Shale, was the truck traffic on what were once quiet little country roads. The RV sites at J.B. Wells Park – where more than 100 welders and other workers are calling home – followed by drilling rigs and flares lighting the night skies, and incredible activity occurring along the TxGN Rail line, all show a visible impact of the exploration and production across Gonzales County. Oil exploration companies with internationally recognized names, and many more smaller businesses have all made Gonzales their home. There are many aspects of oil and gas production, including extraction, drilling and completion, transmission, royalties and lease payments. In 2011, the companies operating in the region had significant impact in the 14-county area around Gonzales County. These impacts translated into more than $19.2 billion in output, 38,000 fulltime jobs supported, $10.5 billion in gross regional product, $211 million in local governments’ revenues, and $312 million in state revenues, which is nothing to sneeze at. By the year 2021, the Eagle Ford Shale could produce $62 billion in output, support 82,600 full-time jobs, and pro-


iin the Eagle Ford Shale

duce $34 billion in gross regional product. Add to that $888 million in local governments’ revenues and $1.6 billion in state revenues, and you get a real live oil boom. The combined total impact of the Eagle Ford Shale estimated in the areas affected in the next decade is staggering. It is estimated that in Gonzales County alone the Eagle Ford Shale activity will create nearly 10,000 additional jobs between 2011 and 2021 and more than $30 billion will be spent developing the play in 2013 alone. The impact of all this activity has challenged local businesses to keep up with the growth. The supply companies, lodging facilities, retail shops and restaurants are going gangbusters, but there is an increasing shortage in the supply of both skilled and unskilled labor. Construction companies are backlogged, and construction materials are in short supply. Increased job and skills training available with Victoria College’s Gonzales campus, and the employment opportunities that abound across the region, are trying to fill that void. Victoria College’s CDL Classes in Gonzales have turned out the truck drivers that are hired as quickly as they pass the test, and machinist, instrumentation, welding, quality control, electric, and plumbing are highly desired skills in the “new” workforce climate of Gonzales County. The play is driving housing development in Gonzales at a level that hasn’t been seen in many, many years. In 2008, there were 33 permits issued for drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale. In 2012 there were 4,145 permits issued in the play. This sudden surge in drilling permits issued is testament to the oil and gas industry’s great expectations for the Eagle Ford Shale play. In 2012, 352 billion cubic feet of natural gas, and 150 million barrels of oil equivalent were reported to have come from the play. That’s a lot of oil and gas, folks!

Gonzales County is at the epicenter of Eagle Ford Shale acvity

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.B. Wells Park is a 169-acre park that has a covered pavilion, multi-purpose show barn, a covered arena, a practice arena, and a hike and bike trail. The park also offers 498 full recreational vehicle hook-ups.

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Covered Arena The covered arena is booked mostly throughout the year from Thursday through Sunday. In June, Gonzales plays host to the top cowboys and cowgirls in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade from throughout Texas for the Texas Junior High State Rodeo Finals. This is the second largest junior high rodeo in the nation. The Youth Rodeo Finals come to town during June. This is a regional association, but expects to bring several hundred contestants. The Texas Youth Rodeo Finals are held in late July and early August. This is also a regional association that expects to bring 250 contestants to town. Both of these events have nightly performances covering the ages of 6 to 18. The arena also plays host to numerous cutting horse events, team ropings, barrel races, play days, junior high rodeos, high school rodeos, circuses and even high school graduation. The multi-use show barn hosts many prospect shows, cattle sales, goat sales, antique barn sale and the Gonzales Livestock Show. The covered pavilion is rented mainly for private functions, as well as music festivals throughout the year. To book your event or to rent a RV site, call 830-263-2256 or email A complete schedule of events is on the city of Gonzales website at The hike and bike trail is a mile-long limestone path that circles around the Santa Anna Mound. So if you like to exercise or just take a relaxing stroll among the wildlife, this hike and bike trail is available whenever you like.

830-672-9581 826 Sarah DeWitt Drive Gonzales, TX 78629

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The China Basket One of Gonzales’ Favorite Downtown Shopping Stops!

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J.B. Wells House Museum The J.B. Wells House was built in 1885 and retains much history of the early years of Texas. Original furnishings continue to grace the 15 rooms of the home. The structure consists of Florida long-leaf pine lumber delivered form the Port of Indianola by oxen to Gonzales. Typical of Texas in the late 1800s, the J.B. Wells (T.N. Matthews) House remains today as it was in 1885, with some of the original wallpaper, drapes and hand-crafted Guadalupe River Valley walnut furnishings. Maintenance of the house is totally under the care of the Gonzales Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The house, located at 829 Mitchell Street and designated a Texas Historical Landmark, is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, with group tours available by appointment (call 830-672-9793). The house is also open to the public around the weekend of October 2, celebrating Come and Take It, and during the Christmas holiday season.

Guest Room Amenities include • Micro-Fridge • WiFi Internet • • Continental Breakfast • 1804 E. Sarah DeWitt Dr. Gonzales 830-672-9611

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites of Gonzales 126 Middle Buster Road Gonzales, TX 78629

Hotel Features Complimentary Wireless High-Speed Internet Access Complimentary Express Start Breakfast Complimentary Parking • Business Center • Guest Laundry Meeting Room • Outdoor Pool • Fitness Center

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Gonzales Parks and Recreation


onzales Parks and Recreation Department has a lot to offer, from scenic views of the Guadalupe River to golf to rodeos. The Parks and Recreation Department inventory includes five city parks, a nine-hole golf course, three squares, two cemeteries and the Gonzales Memorial Museum, and is responsible for maintaining all city facility grounds. For information on parks and recreation, to book an event or rent a pavilion, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 830-6723192 or email parks& A full listing of events can be found on the city of Gonzales website at The Parks and Recreation Department is located at 1920 St. Joseph Street. Independence Park Independence Park is located off U.S. Highway 183 on the banks of the Guadalupe River. This park includes three covered pavilions, three Little League fields, four softball fields, soccer field, basketball court, six volleyball courts, swimming pool, a 21-site RV Park, show barn, rodeo arena, a 2.35-mile hike and bike trail, and scenic views of the Guadalupe River. The park also boasts an attractive nine-hole golf course. The lower section of the park, known as the “Brickyard,� includes a pavilion, playground, picnic tables, barbecue pits, a scenic river outlook, restrooms, hike and bike trail, and excellent fishing along the Guadalupe River. The upper park includes a rodeo arena and show barn, ball fields, playground, two pavilions, swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic tables, barbecue pits and restrooms. The baseball fields are home to the Gonzales Little League. Swimming Pool The swimming pool opens Memorial Day Weekend May 25-26, and is open for daily use through August. Pool hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The pool is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday. The pool is closed on Monday. Adult supervision is required for all ages, 8 years old and under. Golf Course An attractive 22-acre, nine-hole golf course with pecan trees along the Guadalupe River offers several challenges, and is open seven days a week. Green fees are $12 per day on weekdays, and $14 per day on weekends. Golf cart rental fees are $8 for nine holes or $15 for 18 holes. Annual memberships can also be purchased. Single annual memberships are $290 and family annual memberships are $375. Call 830-672-1324. Independence RV Park Nestled along the banks of the Guadalupe River lies a picturesque and scenic RV park with 21 sites (five pull-through and 16 back-in sites) with water, electric and sewer hook ups. Cost is $20 per night with a maximum 14-day stay. Call 830-672-1324 for reservations. J.B. Wells Park J.B. Wells Park is a 169-acre park that has a covered pavilion, multipurpose show barn, covered arena, practice arena, a hike and bike trail and 498 RV hook-ups located at 2301 CR 197 (at U.S. Highway 183 and state Highway 97). The majority of the events are free to the public throughout the year. Continued on Page 37 32

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onzales, known for its late 19th and early 20th Century commercial and institutional buildings in the downtown area, was awarded Official Main Street status in 1988. Through the revitalization and restoration efforts of the community, Gonzales has been recognized as a National Main Street City since 2000 by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Gonzales Main Street accomplishments include the awarding of four Texas Capital Fund/Main Street grants, one that improved the parking and landscaping on two of the historical squares, and the second and third grants allowed for infrastructure needs to help stop the flooding downtown. The city has completed the fourth TCF project, which replaced sidewalks in the 300 block of St. George Street. This project was completed July 2012. In 2009, the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation granted Main Street $50,000 for a Business Development grant, and has continued to fund this program. Local businesses can receive up to $10,000 for façade improvements with a 20 percent match. Since the grant program began, Main Street has helped thirteen building owners renovate the façade of their downtown buildings. The Main Street Program sponsors the Gonzales Main Street Concert Series and Star Spangled Spectacular, which are held in downtown Gonzales on Confederate Square. The concert series is held every Friday night in June starting at 6 p.m. This free event has great music, arts and craft show, food and is just good ol’ family entertainment. The concert series ends with the Star Spangled Spectacular held at 6 p.m. July 4th on Confederate Square ending with a fabulous fireworks display. During the Christmas season, downtown shines with lights outlining the buildings and stars adding a holiday sparkle to this historic area of Gonzales. The Christmas season kicks off with a lighted Christmas parade the first Friday in December. Other activities for the Winterfest weekend include arts and crafts show, Silent Santa Chili Cook-off, Historic Homes Tour and Stars in the Village. For information, contact the city at 830-672-2815 or MainStreet@


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Continued from Page 32 J.B. Wells will host three youth rodeo finals at the park in 2013: Texas Junior High State Rodeo, which features the top cowboys and cowgirls from sixth through eighth grade from throughout the state; Youth Rodeo Association; and Texas Youth Rodeo Association. New events for J.B. Wells you don’t want to miss include: Carson and Barnes Circus, Southwestern Donkey and Mule Show, and 8th Texas Vintage Airstream Rally. The arena also plays host to numerous cutting horse events, team ropings, barrel races, 4-H play days, junior high and high school rodeos, donkey and mule show, stock shows, cattle auctions, bull riding and circus. The multi-purpose use show barn hosts many prospect shows, cattle sales, goat sales, barn sales and the Gonzales Livestock Show. The hike and bike trail is a mile-long limestone path that circles around the Santa Anna Mound. If you like to exercise or just take a relaxing stroll among the wildlife, this hike and bike trail is for you. Come see the events with your family with no cover charges, and enjoy great refreshments from the concession stand that is open at all events in the arena. To book your event or to rent a RV site, call

830-263-2256 or email A full listing of events can be found on the city of Gonzales website at

with rolling fairways. Scorecards are available at the Parks and Recreation Office, 1920 St. Joseph Street, or Gonzales Chamber of Commerce, 414 St. Lawrence. Texas Heroes Square Located at the intersection of St. Joseph Street and St. Lawrence Street. The square honors the men of Gonzales who fought in the Texas Revolution. The monument, by sculptor Pompeo Coppini, was built in 1910 through the efforts of the Gonzales Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Kerr Creek Park Kerr Creek Park is located along St. Louis Street from North Fair Street to Sarah DeWitt Drive. Kerr Creek Park is home to an 18-hole disc golf course and the historic Oak Forest Bridge. The Oak Forest Bridge was built in 1913 on CR 143 over the Guadalupe River, and was replaced in 2003 and was relocated for a pedestrian bridge over Kerr Creek. The disc golf course was established in 2003, and is home to the 2013 Gonzo Liberty Battle, part of the Heart of Texas Tour Disc Golf qualifiers. It is a well-maintained course

Confederate Heroes Square Located at the intersection of St. Joseph Street and St. George Street. The square honors the soldiers killed while serving in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The monument, by sculptor Frank Teich, was dedicated in 1909 through the efforts of Chapter 546 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Gonzales. Market Square Located at the intersection of Water Street and St. Louis Street. The square has a gazebo, and is home to the State Association of Texas Pioneers Museum. Call Parks & Recreation at 830-672-3192 or email parks&




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n 1997, the voters of Gonzales created the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation (GEDC). Since then, the GEDC has helped businesses in Gonzales improve, expand and employ more people. Funded by a one-half percent sales tax, GEDC has funded $6 million worth of business, tourism and community projects. The Victoria College-Gonzales Campus, Texas Gonzales and Northern Railway, Adams Extract, J.B. Wells Park and Arena, Sleep Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Tropical Fusions, Microtel by Wyndham, many local small businesses, and the historic Lynn Theatre have all benefited from assistance from GEDC. GEDC is a Type B economic development corporation, governed by a board of seven directors who are selected and appointed by the Gonzales City Council. With an emphasis on job retention and creation, and more than $800,000 in annual revenue, GEDC stands ready to assist local businesses and those wanting to locate to Gonzales. It is GEDC’s belief that more jobs lead to a stronger local economy and a higher quality of life across the community. Gonzales and Gonzales County are leaders in agricultural production. Agriculture products produced in Gonzales and Gonzales County account for more than $400 million in annual sales. Gonzales and Gonzales County are among Texas leading producers of poultry, eggs and pecans. Other products produced include beef, corn, grain and hay. Broiler chickens raised in Gonzales and Gonzales County generate more than $150 million annually, and the egg industry generates more than $93 million – and both industries are growing. Historic tourism is a growing industry in Gonzales, home of the first battle for Texas Independence. Eighteen Gonzales residents met Santa Anna’s Army head-on over the possession of a small cannon. A handcrafted flag made from a wedding dress declared “Come and Take It.” During the standoff, the cannon was fired, scattering the Mexican contingent, and the fight for Texas Independence had begun. The Gonzales Come and Take It flag is known internationally as a sign of freedom and independence. Not only do tourists generate revenue for local businesses, they generate nearly $350,000 in hotel occupancy tax. The hotel occupancy tax is available to help produce events which bring tourists to Gonzales, promote overnight stays and are enjoyed by local folks, too. An additional four hotels are scheduled to open in 2013. GEDC is growing Gonzales, one business at a time. The focus is on managed, quality, sustainable growth, preparing Gonzales for future generations. For those looking to expand an existing local business, re-locate a business to the community or start a new business, GEDC offers a wide range of incentives such as grants, loans, land, local and state assistance, and professional staff ready to help businesses succeed and flourish. Gonzales is centrally located between Austin, San Antonio and Victoria at the intersection of U.S. Highways 183 and 90A, only 15 miles south of Interstate 10. Contact Carolyn Gibson-Baros, economic development director, at City Hall: 830-672-2815, by cell 830-263-0140 or email

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Rick’s weight loss surgery team has been with him every step of the way. Being obese severely limited Rick Villa’s mobility. It aggravated his osteoarthritis so much that even walking was difficult. So he made the decision to change his life with weight loss surgery at DeTar. “The staff has truly undertaken this journey with me,” he said. “With their guidance, I’ve lost 168 pounds. My arthritis is much improved. Now, I can play ball with my grandson, and maybe even inspire others with serious weight problems.” DeTar Healthcare System offers three weight loss surgery options, and is the only local hospital offering robotic-assisted bariatric surgery. Find out more about weight loss surgery options at

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Victoria College Gonzales Center


ince its opening in May 2007 at Sarah DeWitt Drive (U.S. Highway 90A and St. Joseph Street), the Victoria College Gonzales Center campus has expanded east across St. Paul Street to create a skills training academy and an enlarged science lab known as the Gonzales Workforce Training Center. VC’s Gonzales Center offers classrooms and computer labs, a resource and tutoring center, and a science lab and a large and wellequipped nursing skills lab. Students attend either day or evening classes, and have access to a wide array of student services. “The positive support from the community has been a major factor in the success of the VC Gonzales Center and its students,” says Jackie Mikesh, VC Gonzales Center campus manager. “Another important factor in the success of VC’s Gonzales Center is the dedication and professionalism demonstrated by the many employees who work here as instructors, tutors, proctors and office staff,” Mikesh says. “It makes a big difference to our students that when they come into the Center, they are greeted by friendly VC employees who demonstrate their interest in helping students achieve their goals.” The Gonzales Center offers a variety of courses, credit and continuing education, a commercial trucking course and dual credit courses for high school students. Victoria College also has an agreement with the University of Houston-Victoria to allow UHV the opportunity to offer the last two years leading to a Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at the VC Gonzales Center campus.

Gonzales Learning & Career Center


he Gonzales Learning and Career Center (GLCC) is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 that provides adult education to the people of Gonzales and surrounding counties. The center is located at 1135 St. Paul Street. GLCC’s main focus is its GED preparation and ESL classes, which are free and open to anyone. Morning and evening classes are offered. GLCC is also dedicated to lifelong learning, and seeks to help area residents continue learning, no matter their age. To this end, the public is offered a wide variety of continuing education or informal classes. Some of these are brown bags, which meet over the lunch hour. GLCC also offers specialized testing and classes for area employers. GLCC is open to the public 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, with use of the computer lab, which has Internet access. For information about programs, schedule of upcoming events, arrange to use space, volunteer or suggest services, contact GLCC at 830-672-8291 or email

Gonzales ISD


onzales Independent School District offers its students an extensive list of courses and programs, including advanced placement and dual enrollment opportunities. East Avenue Primary, Gonzales Elementary and North Avenue Intermediate were named Texas Recognized Campuses, and all campuses have received Gold Performance Awards for increases in student performance. Students are consistently successful in both academic and athletic competitions, and parents and the community are supportive of the GISD community through participation in school activities and events. Administration/Central Office 926 St. Lawrence Street  830-672-9551 43

The Gonzales Inquirer

Only the Best for the


t was 160 years ago in 1853 — in the days before computers when printers had to melt the lead for the type, create each newspaper page on a line-o-type and print each individual page on a flatbed press — that The Gonzales Inquirer started. In those 160 years, the Inquirer has not only held its ranking as the 10th oldest continuously publishing newspaper in Texas, but it has chronicled each day, each week and each year of Gonzales’ rich history. Founders S.W. Smith and David Darst said it best with their credo in their very first issue on June 4, 1853: “Open to all parties, controlled by none,” a motto still observed today. Whether it was the Smiths and Darsts or those who have followed in their footsteps, the Inquirer has continued to give its readers the best product possible, every publication, a commitment evidenced by the number of press association awards the newspaper has earned throughout the years, including 17 in 2012 and more expected in 2013.

BEST! Thank you to the best clients in the world!

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The Gonzales Inquirer, circa 1945

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We appreciate your support and your votes during the 2013 Readers’ Choice Survey.

Reader ’ Readers Choice

Reader ’ Readers Choice

Reader ’ Readers Choice

Reader ’ Readers Choice





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GHS Foundation

Gonzales Memorial Hospital


onzales Memorial Hospital is a 35-bed, acute care hospital located 1110 Sarah DeWitt Drive in Gonzales. Of the 35 beds, 18 are private, nine are semi-private, four are Special Care Unit beds and four are private LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery & Post-Partum) beds. In 1969, Holmes Hospital, owned by Walter A. Sievers, M.D., was given to the community of Gonzales and was called Holmes Community Hospital. A local board operated it. In May of 1975, Gonzales County Hospital District was created by authority of the Texas Constitution. The board of directors of the hospital district then operated Holmes Community Hospital. In 1978, a new hospital facility was built, and Holmes Community Hospital became Memorial Hospital when the facility was opened in November 1978. The hospital was opened and licensed with the Texas Department of Health for 42 beds. Memorial Hospital, as well as other health care providers in the county, is aided by the Gonzales County Health Foundation Inc., founded in 1983 with funds received from the sale of the Holmes Community Hospital building. In 1991, the hospital began offering clinic space to specialty physicians. This allowed patients to receive treatment not previously available without traveling long distances to urban areas. In 1993, in response to being classified as a Medically Under-served Area, Memorial Hospital built and established Sievers Medical Clinic as a Rural Health Clinic staffed by two full-time physicians and one mid-level provider. Since that time, due to an increasing demand for local health care, the clinic has been expanded twice. The clinic is currently staffed by four full-time family practitioners, one full-time pediatrician, one part-time gynecologist and three full-time mid-level providers. In 1994, Memorial Hospital acquired Waelder Medical Clinic, which is certified as a Rural Health Clinic. On June 18, 1997, Gonzales County Hospital District officially changed its name to Gonzales Healthcare Systems. In 1999, Nixon Medical Clinic was established to further provide services to a Medically Underserved Area. Also in 1999, the hospital treated 22,187 patients illustrating an 84% increase since 1993. In 2000, Gonzales citizens voted in support of a $6,000,000 bond to be used for hospital expansion of outpatient services that include specialty physician clinic, emergency services and additional diagnostic service area. Contact the hospital at 830-672-7581 or visit at www.GonzalesHealthcare. com.

onzales Healthcare Systems Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed to build a bridge between the community and the hospital. Its role is to encourage community involvement in the hospital’s future through financial support and to manage that support for the hospital and the people using its services. “It all Comes Back to You” is the theme guiding the foundation’s efforts. Because the hospital is a taxedbased governmental entity, the patronage of individuals is critical to its ability to provide state-of-the-art technology and excellence in healthcare services to people in the community. The Foundation’s board of directors is a diverse group of volunteers, with each member bringing a special perspective and expertise to the board. They believe in Gonzales Healthcare Systems and its importance to the community as a place of healing and caring to all people. The board realizes the healthcare industry and Gonzales Healthcare Systems face unprecedented economic challenges: rising costs, uninsured patients, dwindling federal reimbursements and the cost of rapidly-changing technology. Philanthropic support of Gonzales Healthcare Systems Foundation is one way to ensure future generations of high quality comprehensive healthcare in Gonzales and surrounding counties. Annual Gifts – Each year the committee will choose projects that will directly benefit the community. Major Gifts – These gifts are made for capital equipment, building projects and large items. Many of these gifts are made in honor or memory of an individual or family. Estate Gifts – Citizens are urged to remember Gonzales Healthcare Systems Foundation with bequests in their wills. A bequest qualifies for an estate-tax charitable deduction and may include cash, property, stocks, bonds or life insurance. Regardless of the size of the estate, an individual can arrange for a gift that will make a difference beyond his or her lifetime. Memorials – Citizens are encouraged to make memorials to the Gonzales Healthcare Systems Foundation in remembrance of loved ones.


Gonzales Community Health Center


he Community Health Center has been providing health services to Gonzales County since 1966 in a service area designated as a Medically Under-served Area, Health Professional Shortage Area and a Medically Under-served Population. No one is denied care due to an inability to pay, and the CHC serves anybody who needs the services. It is a full-service center, except for radiology services. Some of the services offered by the clinic include: Primary urgent and routine health care, family practice, family practice OB, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, mental health services, physician assistant and nurse practitioner services, family planning services, women’s health services, grants that serve the uninsured as well as the under-insured, pharmacy

services, patient assistance program (medications), laboratory services and state-of-the-art electronic health record. Most insurance is welcomed. Physicians can access their patients records from anywhere they are located at any time, enabling them to provide social services, outreach services, referral services and patient education classes. Services offered in the dental department include: Primary prevention, exams, cleaning, xrays, fluoride treatment, sealant placement, oral hygiene education, secondary prevention, fillings, extractions, root canals (limited), limited urgent care, oral pain relief and infection control. Community Health Center is located at 228 St. George Street in Gonzales. For information, call 830-672-6511.


Come see the difference

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See the Difference.

· Memorial Hospital · Sievers Medical Clinic · 24/7 Emergency Department · Labor & Delivery · Surgical Services · Specialty Clinic · Laboratory Services · Waelder Medical Clinic · Occupational & Community Health Services

· Memorial Hospital Home Health Agency · Respiratory Services · Gonzales Healthcare Skincare Clinic · Imaging Services · James C. Price Wellness Center · Health Solutions - Durable Medical Equipment · Sleep Studies · Therapy Services · Jane Johnson Women’s Center

1110 N. Sarah dewitt Dr. · Gonzales, TX 78629 · 830-672-7581

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Discover 2013