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Wimberley Institute of Cultures

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What Are WIC's Programs?

In carrying out its chartered purpose, WIC has sponsored a series of oral histories of Wimberley, researched and produced a play concerning the coming of electricity to Wimberley in 1939, wrote and filmed a video concerned with water conservation, assembled a traveling program or "kit" pertaining to the life and work of Buck Winn, early artist, inventor and resident of Wimberley, sought and received grants for these projects as well as one for the restoration of a segment of one of Winn's murals (now on loan to the Visitors Center), and produced, in cooperation with the Hays County Historical Commission, a Wimberley Walking Tour Brochure detailing our "historic district."

Wimberley fourth graders have been/are being taught Texas history by costumed storytellers at the Winters-Wimberley house and the site of the old mill across the street. Our aim is to bring students closer to the life-ways and events that shaped early Texas and Wimberley. The early miller, William C. Winters, a wounded veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, built the stone portion of the Winters-Wimberley House and some of his adventures are recounted on the Texas Historical Commission marker on the front of the property.

There have been three professional quality exhibits hung in the Winters-Wimberley house, all with different, interesting and absorbing themes on early Wimberley. The first featured the works of world-renowned Wimberley artist/inventor Buck Winn followed by early summer camps (1910-1960) depicting early campsites and their influence on tourism, an important element in the valley's economy. Thirdly, "500 Generations of Prehistory" was an archeological exhibit that was insightful, surprising and interesting.

Taking our educational programs on the road, WIC sponsors history/natural history/archeology treks to various locations within the state. Using a chartered bus as transportation, WIC members have enjoyed treks to tour the La Belle excavation site, toured the Texas A&M archeology lab and viewed La Belle artifacts being restored, toured the Bush Presidential Library, toured the Caddoan Indian mounds (our own Dee Ann Story had helped with the excavation during her UT student days and she provided the narrative about an interesting, early people in Texas), enjoyed a courthouse tour to Victoria, Cuero, Goliad, Halletsville, Gonzales and San Marcos, among others.

To raise funds for our educational projects, but not the treks, WIC annually sponsors a Pie Social in the spring on the grounds of the Winters-Wimberley house. It's a fun event with several categories of pies for pie cooks to compete and pies sold by the slice. It's a small-town happening, visiting with friends, eating a piece of homemade pie, buying tickets for the quilt raffle and watching varied, live entertainment. Other sources of funds are the income from memberships, contributions and an occasional grant for specific projects.

WIC also celebrates an annual River Blessing each June to recognize the nurturing role of water in our community. This is members-only event and has been held on the banks of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River. A potluck supper is enjoyed along with entertainment and lots of visiting with old and new friends!

Ongoing Restoration Project

The historic Winters-Wimberley House was built circa 1856-57. This 18 inch-thick limestone wall dwelling was built by William Carvin Winters, a fine wood carver, miller and veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto. The village's oldest documented stone house, it represents the anchor of Wimberley's economic origin, the miller and his mill. After Winters' death in 1864, successive resident millers were his son-in-law, John Cude, and in 1874, Pleasant Wimberley, whose successful management lasted over 20 years. The last miller was John Will Pyland, who married Pleasant's granddaughter, Susie Wimberley. Descendants of Pleasant Wimberley lived here until 1997 when the stone house, its later additions and surrounding five acres were purchased for community use. 

In keeping with our concern for local history, WIC played a major role in the Senior Citizens Activities, Inc.'s acquisition of the Winters-Wimberley house. WIC undertook the responsibility of restoring the house and its usage. Phase I, focused on the rock portion of the house, was completed in 1998. Phase II, the later additions, is in process. Another important WIC involvement with historic preservation has been the research and preparation of documents to nominate the Winters-Wimberley house to the National Register of Historic Places and as State Archeological and Historic Landmarks. These listings, which can be thought of as historic honor rolls, are carefully reviewed at both the state and national level. The Winters-Wimberley house has been awarded both National and State markers thanks to the hard work and dedication of WIC members.

For more about the Winters-Wimberley House click here...

For more about the Community Center project click here...


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