World Heritage Center Will Serve Rancho de las Cabras

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

A World Heritage Center will be constructed to serve San Antonio’s five Spanish missions and Rancho de las Cabras near Floresville.

According to San Antonio World Heritage Office Director Colleen Swain, the new center will serve as an orientation center for visitors to the sites, as well as a place to provide information on the history, art, and culture of their surrounding communities.

A map and artist’s renderings of the future center were displayed April 23 at the Mission Branch San Antonio Public Library on Roosevelt Avenue near Mission San José.

Plans call for the 10,077-square-foot center to include a 5,672-square-foot interior and a 4,405-square-foot outdoor veranda to be located just north of the library.

Funding for the project comes from a San Antonio 2017-22 bond.

“We anticipate breaking ground on the center in the fall, with completion of phase 1 in 2023,” Swain told the Wilson County News.

The historical locations to be served by the center are part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which received World Heritage designation in 2015 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Area ranching operations provided food for mission residents in the 1700s, but Rancho de las Cabras is the only ranch where ruins of a ranch compound have been identified as such. The Rancho raised cattle and goats for Mission Espada, the southernmost of the missions.

“We are happy to share information about opportunities for tours at Rancho de las Cabras through the National Park Service with any visitors,” Swain said….

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Wilson County Jailhouse Museum Restoration Advances

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

The final push is on to complete restoration of the front section of the Wilson County Jailhouse Museum.

In recent days, workers have focused on the floors and woodwork in the part of the former jailhouse in downtown Floresville that once served as living quarters for the county sheriff and his family.

“I love working on it,” said Doug Fehse, owner of Avanna’s, a Floresville home remodeling and furniture sales business. “I look forward to the Jailhouse Museum reopening its doors to the public.”

Fehse recently rebuilt the large front door to the building in his shop before he and his employees installed it. Because of the condition of the wood, the wood for the door and doorframe is new — as the wood is for the windows, window frames, and other wooden trim replaced earlier.

The woodwork has been painted white, as it appeared before restoration began, although Fehse says the woodwork might have been stained a natural color when the jailhouse was originally built in the 1880s….

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