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About the Historical Society of Helotes
History never looks like history when you are living through it. - John W. Gardner

In 1996, residents interested in preserving Helotes' history formed the Helotes Historical Society. The group was spearheaded by Lucy Perkins Brown, editor of the town newspaper, The Helotes Echo, and Wanda Terry, owner of the Hickory Hut Restaurant, which opened in 1979 in the Gugger General Store (est. in 1881) in Old Town Helotes. The Society began compiling oral histories and notebooks of newspaper clippings and photographs about Helotes, and it met regularly at the Hickory Hut to hear talks about the history of the area.


Lucy Brown, who served as the first President of the Society and who was known as a "walking history book of Helotes," suffered a heart attack and died in November 1988. The next month, the Society dedicated the Lucy Brown Memorial Library in a small cottage owned by the Terry family next to the Hickory Hut. After Wanda Terry passed away in 2005, the library closed.


A name change in 2010 to the Historical Society of Helotes, along with an application for incorporation and 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status, which was granted March 23, 2010, signified a renewed effort to continue the work of Lucy Brown and Wanda Terry and established a solid foundation for future Society endeavors.


Today, the Society sponsors many events and activities to fulfill its mission to preserve the history of the area and provide educational opportunities. One of its primary goals is the future realization of a museum and visitors' center in Old Town Helotes.  


Please view the video below for a retrospective of the history of our society!




Video: "Historical Society of Helotes: Our History"





Long-time member Nora Villarreal (center) was presented a plaque designating her as a legendary "Life" member by board members Cynthia Massey (l) and Shirley Owen (r) at the 2014 Historical Society Gala.






Cynthia Massey with 2014 Gala Speaker Bradford Boehme. Massey is holding a Winchester rifle once owned by Boehme’s ancestor, Jacob Haby, from Castroville.



Historical Society members participate in the 2011 Cornyval Parade.





The Society installed a museum-quality display case in the Helotes City Hall gallery in July of 2012. Artifacts are rotated twice annually in January and June. This photo is of the first exhibit with artifacts donated by member Fred Wendt (first person on the left, shown here with some of his family members). The Wendt's are descendants of Frederick Braun.