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Wimberley Institute of Cultures Brings Must-See Exhibit to the Winters-Wimberley House: Then and Now, an Historic Photo Essay of the Village Square
Dr. Dee Ann Story, explains one of the exhibits in the Then and Now exhibition showing from March 6 through July 3, 2010 at the Winters-Wimberley House.

An amazing collection of photos presented by the Wimberley Institute of Cultures
reveals changes in the Square from 1880 to 2010.
Then and Now, an Historic Photo Essay of the Village Square is showing at the Winters-Wimberley House in Wimberley, Texas. The exhibit is an entertaining, sometimes surprising, look back at Wimberley from the 1880's.

Dr. Dee Ann Story, Professor Emeritus from the University of Texas at Austin, has been the primary moving force behind this fascinating exhibition. Then and Now is the result of the cataloging of a vast collection of historic Wimberley photos housed by the Wimberley Institute of Cultures.

The exhibit has been shaped by superlative knowledge and experience. Dr. Story is a leading expert on East Texas' Caddo Indians, among other areas, and has been dubbed the dean of Texas archeology. Among numerous other achievements, Dr. Story was recently honored with the Curtis D. Tunnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Archeology, recognized as "...a true pioneer in the field of archeology." Texas Historical Commission's Executive Director, Larry Oaks, explained that,  "The innovation Dr. Dee Ann Story has brought to the field of archeology demonstrates her remarkable commitment to saving the real places of Texas. Her dedication as a preservationist to enriching the lives of others through history and prehistory plays an irreplaceable role in preserving our state’s past, as well as enhancing its future." Dr. Story also received the THC’s Award for Historic Preservation and the 50th Anniversary Award by the Society for American Archaeology, as well as originating the service-oriented Dee Ann Story Conservation Award presented by the Southern Texas Archaeological Association. Wimberley is, indeed, fortunate to claim her residency and interest.

The Then and Now exhibit reveals a much more recent period than those into which Dr. Story usually guides students and researchers and she has skilfully pulled together photographs and documents to interest anyone who lives in - or who has an interest in - Wimberley.

Building most recently housing the Cypress Creek Cafe

This exhibit is an entertaining, sometimes surprising, look back at Wimberley from the 1880's. For instance, changes in Wimberley's Village Square since the late 19th century are predictably impressive.

Wimberley began as a muddy trading post with a blacksmith shop, the owner's home, and one or two stores.

Located between Austin and San Antonio, Wimberley, Texas is now a popular tourist destination with unique little shops, a thriving artist colony, and a population that includes retirees and those who came here to experience a quieter life.

The exhibit is a project of the Wimberley Institute of Cultures (WIC), and illustrates far better than words the changing appearance and uses of the Square. For example, the exhibit features photographs of homes where residents lived right on the Square, dating back to the 1920s.

Home, now a shop, on the west side of the Square

Like most small settlements, Wimberley was quite different, then. Saturday was the day to gather on the Square in early Wimberley. The Square was then a place for community to visit, dance, parade, hold fund drives to raise money for the fire department, hear speeches, and a place where kids could practice baseball. All manner of activities were enjoyed there, including a Market Day, the early version of the Wimberley Market Day now held at Lions Field in Wimberley.

The exhibit includes photos illustrating activities enjoyed by residents, both for entertainment and to maintain quality of life, in a growing country village much more isolated than it is today.

The most dramatic photographs are those that reveal the changes, viewed from the archaeologist's perspective, for each particular section of the square. For example, current views of the Saunders Store are included with store front changes back to the 1939 fire and beyond to its origin in 1890.

The Wimberley Institute of Cultures has become an integral part of the fabric of life in Wimberley as a non-profit organization formed to recognize and present the natural, historical, archaeological, and cultural resources of the Wimberley Valley. WIC's mission includes preservation of these resources through educational and social activities for both young and adult members of our community.

Then and Now
is the first major exhibit opening at the Winters-Wimberley House since 2004, and is a must-see for anyone interested in Wimberley. Exhibit committee members for this project were Dee Ann Story, Claire Billingsley, Steve Gartside, Mary Kochenderfer, Barry Rhodes and  Barbara Thibodeaux.

Then and Now can be seen at the Winters-Wimberley House at 14068 Ranch Road 12, and is free to the public, with docents available, from March 6 through July 3, 2010. Hours of the exhibit are 1 to 4 every Friday and 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays.

To arrange docent-led tours for groups of six or more, please call Steve Gartside at 512-847-1901.

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