Cuero, Texas was officially founded in 1873, having already been a well-established stopping point on the Chisolm Trail. Initially known as a center for processing hides ('cuero' is Spanish for 'hide'), ranching quickly became the predominant industry as people from the coast settled further inland to escape devastating coastal weather.

Dewitt County Courthouse

Cuero is the seat of DeWitt county. The courthouse was designed by A. O. Watson, a famous architect from Austin, and completed in 1897.

Wandering Downtown

Janet toured downtown Cuero on foot (which took about four minutes). No one was around on a Sunday afternoon. Most of the establishments are now vintage antique stores or flower shops.
The property that use to be JC Penny drew Janet's attention. She told me clerks used to send customer orders across the store by attaching paper forms to clothes lines and whisking them to intended destinations.

St. Michael Catholic Church

St. Michael Catholic Church was the focus of religious life for the Hutchisons.

When Janet attended mass, she pretended that mice were underneath the heating vent in the floor and that they were holding their own services. The heating vent is still in the same spot, and the mice still offer mass to the faithful three times a week, including Sundays.

St. Michael Catholic School

Though Janet never attended the Catholic school, stories from siblings who spent time at St. Michael (or rather, did time at St. Michael, depending on which sibling you happen to be talking to) make the place an integral piece of Janet's history.

Community Center

The local community center can be found near Moss Lane, where the Hutchison home is located. As a small girl, Janet took dancing lessons in the main building.

Janet also remembers swimming in the public pool. Mr. Hutchison liked to make a 'human pyramid' with his kids, putting Janet at the top.

Elementary School

Not far from the house, a dilapidated building is all that's left of the elementary school Janet attended. The wooden structure that remains was the cafeteria. The actual school has been torn down, but had been built on the cement slab seen in the picture.

Janet's Tree

At the top of Moss Lane is a large tree where Janet use to play in the shade. If you look very closely, you can see Janet as a small child peeking out from behind the trunk.

911 Moss Lane

We're always surprised whenever we drive by and the house is still standing. Someone was working on the place during this last visit. We couldn't figure out if we were looking at demolition or remodelling.

Oak Trees

The lot at 911 Moss Lane is actually very nice. The trees in the backyard are beautiful.

Phone Office

The office where Mr. Hutchison worked is still used by the phone company.
Most closely associated with air-conditioning in Janet's recollections, the office has a tree on the side where she use to pick pecans while waiting for Mr. Hutchison to finish work.

McCurdy Home

On the way out of town, we always stop at what use to be Virginia McCurdy's home. Mrs. McCurdy was a very important person in Janet's life, and stopping seems to be an appropriate acknowledgement.