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    TEXAS TROPICAL TRAIL REGION HERITAGE TOURISM PROGRAM

    January 18, 2011 – Partner Event & Business Meeting – Sarita, Texas

    You are cordially invited to attend Number Sixty-five (65) in a series of monthly Partner Events, including Tours and Educational Presentations, celebrating the heritage of South Texas.  This informative gathering of the Texas Tropical Trail Region Heritage Tourism Program will be held in Sarita, Kenedy County, Texas on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.  Please take a few minutes to review the event plans below and let me know which Option (look for A, B or C below) interests you.

    Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church – Vattman

    We will begin our day with a tour of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in  the Vattman community located in Kleberg County near Riviera.  Long time community resident and church member Goldia Hubert will lead us on a tour of this historic church. She and her late husband, Dr. Pat Hubert, and their nine children are lifetime parish members.

    In 1907, Theodore Koch, a land developer, purchased 20,000 acres of land from the King Ranch.  He proposed to develop this land into three communities:  Riviera, Riviera Beach and Vattmanville (later shortened to Vattman). Mr. Koch sought the help of Father Edward J. Vattman, secretary of the Catholic Colonization Society of America, to help him populate the area that came to be known as Vattman.  Soon a church was built and dedicated as Our Lady of Consolation.

    The original church, except for its bell, was destroyed in the hurricane of 1916.  This bell is now located in the present church.  The existing church was built in 1919 and dedicated in 1920. The inside bricks of the church were made by its parishioners, using sand, mud and clay from the Baffin Bay area.  The outside bricks were brought in from a brick factory in D’Hannis, Texas.  The Crucifixion on the High Altar was imported from Germany.  The stained glass windows on each wall of the church, also from Germany, were added in the 1930s.

    Our Lady of Consolation Church is also known throughout South Texas for its annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner, open to the public. This past November, the parish members held their 96th annual dinner.

    From Vattman, we will drive to Riviera Beach to enjoy a seafood lunch at Baffin Bay Café, located on the beach at Baffin Bay.

    After lunch, we will continue south to Sarita in Kenedy County for a visit to the Kenedy Ranch Museum and recently restored Kenedy County Courthouse.

    Kenedy Ranch Museum of South Texas

    Located in Sarita, just 20 miles south of Kingsville, is the Kenedy Ranch Museum of South Texas.  Inside the beautifully restored building of the Kenedy Pasture Company, visitors learn about Mifflin Kenedy and his family and how their lives were interwoven with the history of what was the untamed land known as the Wild Horse Desert.

    Mifflin Kenedy and his friend and business partner, Richard King, first found wealth as steamboat captains on the Rio Grande.  After the Civil War, they invested in land, thousands of acres of South Texas land.  For the next 100 years, the Kenedy name would be significantly involved in every aspect of the economic development of South Texas – ranching, railroads, land development and oil.

    We’ll tour the museum and hear the story of three generations of Kenedys that played such an important role in South Texas history and whose lasting legacy of philanthropy continues to benefit Texans today.  Museum Director Homero Vera will be our host.

    Before the day is over, we will enjoy a brief film, titled Vaquero, about the history of the vaquero (cowboy).  The vaqueros of the Kenedy Ranch are called Kenedenos – people of the Kenedy Ranch.

    Kenedy County Courthouse

    The original Kenedy County Courthouse was built in 1917 and served as the courthouse for Willacy County. When Kenedy County was created in 1921, Willacy County was reorganized and the county seat was moved to Raymondville. Sarita became the county seat of the newly formed Kenedy County and the county continued to use the 1917 courthouse.

    On May 28, 2010, the citizens of Kenedy County celebrated the completion of the restoration of their county courthouse.  According to an article in the Corpus Christi Caller Times, the restoration cost more than $4 million, paid for by the county and not through the state’s courthouse restoration program.

    The courthouse originally cost $19,000 to build.  Due to moisture that built up after the addition of a white stucco exterior, the exterior brick and stone had deteriorated and had to be replaced.  The original interior paint schemes and carpet have been duplicated.

    Gayle Cordell, the Kenedy County Judge’s secretary and Courthouse Restoration Project Coordinator, will be on hand to lead our tour of the courthouse.  Newly-elected Kenedy County Judge Bud Turcotte is also expected to join us.

    Our hosts for this day in Kleberg and Kenedy counties will be Our Lady of Consolation Church, Kenedy Ranch Museum of South Texas and Kenedy County.

    Texas Tropical Trail Region Heritage Tourism Program

    The Texas Tropical Trail Region (TTTR) heritage tourism program is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation developed in conjunction with the Texas Historical Commission and organized in February 2005 with an eleven-member volunteer Board of Directors, a salaried Executive Director and over 500 partners in tourism throughout the 20 county South Texas area known as the Texas Tropical Trail Region.  The first public “partner” meeting was held in March 2005 at the La Posada Hotel in Laredo, Texas.

    This Region covers over 23,000 square miles and is home to over 1.7 million people. Four sub-regions or Byways (the Gulf Coast Byway, the Rio Grande Byway, the Wild Horse Desert Byway and the Brush Country Byway) are located within the Region.

    Kingsville is the home of the Texas Tropical Trail Regional office located in the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce office building at 635 E. King Avenue, Suite 102.

    It is the intent of the Texas Tropical Trail Region Board of Directors to showcase the heritage, natural beauty and diverse culture of South Texas for the benefit and enjoyment of Texans and travelers. To achieve this goal, the Board must first join hands with our tourism partners, community leaders, and state and local entities to identify, preserve and interpret our natural, historical and cultural resources.

    These monthly meetings/educational presentations are the workshops to help make this goal a reality.  These meetings are open to the public, and you are urged to encourage folks in your city and county to join us.

    OPTIONS AVAILABLE

    The day has been divided into three parts/options with the tours and lunch as options.

    Option A: beginning at 10:00 am – (The full day) (using your own transportation)

    10:00 – 10:45 amTour - Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Vattman (located on County Road 628 in southern Kleberg County) – Mrs. Goldia Hubert

    10:45 – 11:00 amDrive to Baffin Bay Café on Riviera Beach (located at 1291 E. CR 2360 – phone 361 297-5354)

    11:00 – 11:15 amWelcome, Introductions and Community Updates – Baffin Bay Cafe

    11:15 am – 12 noonLunch – Baffin Bay Cafe

    Lunch will be served family-style at a cost of $19 per person (including tax and gratuity).  The menu will include:

    Fried fish – fried shrimp – fried oysters

    French fries and fried onion rings

    Pinto beans and Texas toast

    Coffee or tea

    12 noon – 12:20 pm – Drive to Sarita and the Kenedy Ranch Museum (located at 200 E. La Parra Avenue in Sarita)

    12:20 – 1:00 pmKenedy Ranch Museum tour – Homero Vera, Museum Director

    1:00 – 1:10 pmWalk across the street to the Kenedy County Courthouse (located at 151 N. Mallory Street in Sarita)

    1:10 – 1:30 pm – Tour of Kenedy County Courthouse – Gayle Cordell, Kenedy County Judge’s Secretary & Courthouse

    Restoration Project Coordinator

    1:30 – 1:40 pm – Walk to Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House – located behind the Museum and across the street

    from the Courthouse.

    .

    1:40 – 2:00 pmView “Vaquero” Film – Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House

    2:00 - 3:30 pmBusiness Meeting Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House (located at 200 E. La Parra Avenue in Sarita) – Open to the Public

    Option B: beginning at 11:00 am   – Lunch, Museum & Courthouse Tours and Business Meeting

    11:00 – 11:15 amWelcome, Introductions and Community Updates – Baffin Bay Café located at 1291 E. CR 2360 at Riviera Beach

    11:15 am – 12 noonLunch – Baffin Bay Cafe

    Lunch will be served family-style at a cost of $19 per person (including tax and gratuity).  The menu will include:

    Fried fish – fried shrimp – fried oysters

    French fries and fried onion rings

    Pinto beans and Texas toast

    Coffee or tea

    12 noon – 12:20 pm – Drive to Sarita and the Kenedy Ranch Museum (located at 200 E. La Parra Avenue in Sarita)

    12:20 – 1:00 pmKenedy Ranch Museum tour – Homero Vera, Museum Director

    1:00 – 1:10 pmWalk across the street to the Kenedy County Courthouse (located at 151 N. Mallory Street in Sarita)

    1:10 – 1:30 pm – Tour of Kenedy County Courthouse – Gayle Cordell, Kenedy County Judge’s Secretary & Courthouse

    Restoration Project Coordinator

    1:30 – 1:40 pm – Walk to Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House – located behind the Museum and across the street

    from the Courthouse.

    1:40 – 2:00 pmView “Vaquero “Film – Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House

    2:00 - 3:30 pmBusiness Meeting Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House (located at 200 E. La Parra Avenue in Sarita) – Open to the Public

    Option C: beginning at 12:20 pm   – Museum & Courthouse Tours and Business Meeting

    12:20 – 1:00 pmKenedy Ranch Museum tour located at 200 E. La Parra Avenue in Sarita)Homero Vera, Museum

    Director

    1:00 – 1:10 pmWalk across the street to the Kenedy County Courthouse (located at 151 N. Mallory Street in Sarita)

    1:10 – 1:30 pm – Tour of Kenedy County Courthouse – Gayle Cordell, Kenedy County Judge’s Secretary & Courthouse

    Restoration Project Coordinator

    1:30 – 1:40 pm – Walk to Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House – located behind the Museum and across the street

    from the Courthouse.

    1:40 – 2:00 pmView “Vaquero” Film – Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House

    2:00 - 3:30 pmBusiness Meeting Kenedy Ranch Museum Carriage House (located at 200 E. La Parra Avenue in Sarita) – Open to the Public

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    An RSVP is necessary to let us know which option (A, B or C) you are interested in so that we can be adequately prepared with lunch, seating arrangements and hand-out materials.

    Please respond to Nancy Deviney at nancydeviney@yahoo.com as soon as possible but no later than Friday, January 14, 2011.

    Directions and maps to the tour sites are available.

    We hope you will join us for this educational and informative day in Kleberg and Kenedy counties.  No fees or membership are required. There will be a $19 charge, per person (including tax and gratuity) for lunch.

    Please feel free to share this invitation with your friends and colleagues but remind them that an RSVP is necessary.

    Thank you.

    Nancy Deviney

    Chairman, Board of Directors, Texas Tropical Trail Region (www.texastropicaltrail.com)

    Nancy Deviney

    nancydeviney@yahoo.com