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New exhibit tells story of Winedale

Stephen F. Austin’s Colony, German immigration to Texas, the historic Lewis-Wagner House, and Houston philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg — these are all important elements in the history of Winedale.

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AUSTIN, Texas —Stephen F. Austin’s Colony, German immigration to Texas, the historic Lewis-Wagner House, and Houston philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg — these are all important elements in the history of Winedale.

Visitors can learn about these elements and more through “The Winedale Story,” a new exhibit about the history of Winedale, a complex of 19th-century structures and modern facilities located near Round Top, Texas.

This new exhibit recently opened in Hazel’s Lone Oak Cottage, one of Winedale’s historic houses. Winedale is a division of the University’s Center for American History, a special collections library, archive and museum that facilitates research and sponsors programs on the historical development of the United States.

“The Winedale Story” features facsimiles of photographs, maps, manuscripts, newspapers and artifacts drawn from Center for American History’s extensive Texas history collections. The display is divided into two parts, each occupying one side of the “dog trot” or breezeway that divides Hazel’s Lone Oak Cottage.

The first portion of the exhibit describes the natural setting and the history of the Fayette County area that Winedale now occupies. It features maps of roads and settlements in early Texas; entries from Stephen F. Austin’s famous “List of Titles,” in which he recorded the names of settlers in his Austin Colony; and excerpts from narratives of immigrants and former slaves who lived in the area.

Photographs and manuscripts also document the social and economic changes in the Winedale area during the periods of German and Czech settlement in the region, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and in the first half of the 20th century.

The second part of “The Winedale Story” explains the crucial role played by Houston philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg in the development of the Winedale property into a museum site. A noted preservationist and daughter of Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg, Miss Hogg purchased in 1963 Winedale’s historic Lewis-Wagner House and the land on which it stood. Photographs and architectural drawings depict how Miss Hogg then assembled other area historic structures onto the property, renovated them and donated the entire Winedale property to The University of Texas in 1967.

Winedale became a division of the Center for American History in 1994, and the exhibit describes the center’s efforts to promote the study of Texas history through public programs at Winedale. A large map in the breezeway orients visitors to Winedale’s 225 acres and its historic structures and modern facilities.

The exhibit concludes with a look at the wide variety of music produced in the Winedale area over the years. Photographs document the Joseph Wagner Family Band, the “Hayseed Band” of LaGrange in their festival costumes, the members of Brenham National Guard Band and a formal studio portrait of a Mr. Schuhmann proudly displaying his prized accordion.

“The Winedale Story,” a year in the making, is an important step in the Center for American History’s effort to enrich visitors Winedale experience by acquainting them with the history of the site and its buildings and with the programmatic opportunities at Winedale for learning about Texas history and culture.

Winedale is one of four divisions at the Center for American History. The other divisions are the Research and Collections Division on the UT Austin campus, the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum in Bonham, Texas, and the John Nance Garner House and Museum in Uvalde, Texas. Winedale is located four miles northeast of Round Top, Texas on FM 2714, which is reached from Round Top via FM 1457.

For more information about the new Winedale exhibit, telephone Kate Adams at (512) 495-4515 or e-mail her at k.adams@mail.utexas.edu