A timeline of the original courthouse in Hidalgo, Texas

The Museum of South Texas History, a museum chronicling the borderland heritage of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, welcomes Eduardo Vela of E.G.V. Architects Inc. to present “Restoration of the 1886 Hidalgo County Courthouse” Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m.


1886 Hidalgo County Courthouse in Hidalgo, Texas

Many residents in Hidalgo County may be familiar with the current courthouse located on the city of Edinburg’s downtown square, but the original courthouse was located near the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, Texas. The courthouse was a two-story building, made with local brick, designed and built by S. W. Brooks. The building was abandoned after voters approved moving the county seat to Chapin, later known as Edinburg. In January 1920, structural damage done by a fire required removal of the second floor, roof tower, cupola and woodwork. In April 1963, it received a medallion, which made the building the 671st historical building in Texas and the first in Hidalgo County. In 1981, Border Bank purchased the building from the Samano family, and shortly after that restoration plans were launched to preserve the building. The courthouse was restored to nearly the condition it had been in during the 1890s, except for the missing second floor and cupola.

Vela is a registered Architect in the State of Texas and currently the Architect of record for the Restoration of the 1886 Hidalgo County Courthouse. Currently the courthouse is owned by the City of Hidalgo and is being restored under the supervision of the Texas Historical Commission. The current construction involves the reconstruction of the second floor, the cupola, the missing character defining features of the building lost during the fire on Jan. 18, 1920.

Sunday Speakers Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.

About Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from   1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003 following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.