RGV Visitors Guide

Page 24 Rio Grande Valley Visitors Guide 2023-2024 visible in the ground and established roads. In 1863, Union forces destroyed the salt works. The following year, when Confederates took control of the Valley again, they used La Sal del Rey as a staging point and re-opened the mines. After the Civil War, a legal controversy over the lake’s ownership led to the State of Texas declaring that mineral rights belonged to private property owners and not to the general public. Salt mining continued at La Sal del Rey until the 1940s. Today it is a federal nature preserve, looking much as it did during the 1860s. Visit https://www.utrgv.edu/civilwar-trail/civil-war-trail/hidalgo-county/la-sal-del-rey/index. htm for more information and directions. South Texas Motorcycle Museum The South Texas Motorcycle Museum opened in October 2009 and features dozens of motorcycles that span over the past century. The mission of the South Texas Motorcycle Museum is to educate the public by celebrating and preserving the rich culture, engineering, art, and history of the motorcycle. The South Texas Motorcycle Museum is a non-profit organization run and managed by volunteers who are eager to conserve history on two wheels. For more information about the museum, or to find out how you can help, call (956) 2920770. Visit the website at https://stxmm.net/ The Gelman Stained Glass Museum The Gelman Stained Glass Museum in San Juan, located at 411 Virgen de San Juan Blvd. across from the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle, is home to the most comprehensive collection of stained-glass windows in the United States. This 16,000 square foot state-of-theart museum replicates the Latin-cross cruciform architecture of European medieval cathedrals, providing a sacred setting for these antique stained-glass windows acquired from deteriorating churches around the country. The windows on display represent the most renowned manufacturers of 19th and 20th Century American and European stained-glass art. Their collection consists of over 140 antique windows ranging from Tiffany Studios, John La Farge, J & R Lamb Studios, Mary Tillinghast, as well as pieces from the German Munich styles by Franz Meyer, F. X. Zettler, Cox & Buckley and more. Encompassing the cathedral-like experience for its visitors, the museum has other religious relics within its collection such as Roman Catholic altars, baptismal fonts, and marble statues. The museum is also a venue for photoshoots, private events, and weddings. Museum Hours of Operation are Wednesdays through Fridays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays through Sundays, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.gelmanmuseum.org or call (956) 6010838. City of Alamo Museum Alamo is a community with a big name and a history that spans the era of bequeaths of land from the Spanish crown to become the gateway to the well-known Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. That history is being collected, preserved, and displayed at the City of Alamo Museum, 130 S. 8th St. in the City of Alamo. It is a history of the early development of Camp Ebenezer with a railroad depot in 1902 as a ranching and shipping operation. Colonizing followed when the Alamo Land and Sugar Company purchased 32,000 acres and excursion trains brought prospective farmers to the area, housed temporarily at the camp between 1914 and up until the 1930s. To track the city’s history, this new museum opened five years ago, starting with the permanent Galleria of Angels, numbering 1,800. Other permanent displays include the tragic 1940 truck-train collision, the history of the Alamo Fire Department, El Gato Exhibit, Karankawa Exhibit, and a collection of every Alamo News issue from 1927 to 1982. Revolving exhibits take place on average every three months. Traveling exhibits of loaned items have included 100 Madonna and Child figurines, Seventy Nativity sets, 40 Singer child sewing machines, 1900’s-1920’s Dress Collection, and a barber chair that sat John, Bob, and Ted Kennedy. The phone number is (956) 961-4398, website is www.alamotexas.org (under Department’s link), the hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Follow on Facebook and find how to “Discover Your Past” at the City of Alamo Museum.