Texas Independence Trail Region

Heritage Tourism Achievement Awards 2019


The Trailblazer Award 

Recognizes a person who has displayed outstanding professionalism, achievement and support of the Texas Independence Trail Region community.

Peggy Spradley

Our inaugural award goes to a person who has helped from the beginning in the development of the Texas Independence Trail Region.


This person has been a driving force behind many of our projects and has always worked to unify the region, incorporating the larger cities in the region with the rural and smaller communities. 


Always a team player and always working behind the scenes to make the Texas Independence Trail Region the best it can be so, as she puts it, we can tell ‘the second best story in the world.”


She has served on the Texas Independence Trail Region board as President, Vice President and for many years as our Treasurer – a truly crucial job and not a favorite for many people.


Peggy Spradley serves as the Sealy Chamber of Commerce and CVB President and is the epitome of the Texas Trail Blazer!  I’m extremely honored to present our inaugural Trail Blazer award to Peggy Spradley, with future awards to named in her honor.


The Spirit of Texas Independence Award 

Recognizes partners with projects and programs within the Texas Independence Trail Region that have measurable impact on regional heritage tourism in a striking and powerful manner.  Partners may showcase specific events, projects, programs and promotions that have been created, developed, implemented or held between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018, that celebrate regional heritage tourism.  Examples of projects or promotions, include retail promotions; festivals/events, community history/cultural programs, promotions appealing to heritage and civic pride.

With such deserving projects, the committee could not decide on the Spirit of Texas award so we had a tie!

Winner (Tie)

Presidio La Bahia: WayBack Wednesdays program

Scott McMahon, Director, Presidio La Bahia, accepted the award.

This summer program tells the story of the people who established and maintained The Presidio through hands-on living history presentations. Visitors are able to see, touch and recreate the clothing and equipment of soldiers and citizens attached to the presidio, while learning how they were used over two hundred years ago. 


WayBack Wednesdays takes the presidio from being just another “historic site” to a new level, one where the presidio is a living breathing entity that becomes more relevant to those who visit.


WayBack Wednesdays has increased local and regional awareness and appreciation of the presidio as an important heritage attraction.

Winner (Tie)

Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum:  Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America exhibit

a collaboration with Smithsonian’s Traveling Exhibit Service - called Museum on Main Street.


Sharon Weber, Executive Director, Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, accepted the award.;

Museum on Main Street’s exhibits focus on broad topics of American history.  By inviting small museums, in small towns to participate, they provide resources and guidance to assist in making lasting improvements in the Museum’s objectives, educational programs, cultural activities, and exhibits that center on local heritage.

The “Hometown Teams” project focused on the cultural impact that sports involvement has played on both an individual level, and on the community level. In addition to the Smithsonian exhibit, The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum Worked with the local high school, the City of Cuero, and local residents to secure original sports memorabilia items from local athletes who began their sports careers locally and continued to compete and excel on the national level.


Through the marketing power of the Smithsonian brand, the Hometown Teams exhibit attracted many out-of-town and out-of state visitors and continues to have a positive impact on the Cuero community. The exhibit attracted many visitors who had never been inside the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.  These first time visitors have returned for other Museum activities and functions, further fostering the positive community impact. The exhibit, by appealing to community members of all ages, social, and economic backgrounds, gender, race, age and physical ability, became a value to the community in both education and community unification aspects.

Community alliances were forged and solidified, relationships with government officials were enhanced and fundraising partners were created.

We thank everyone who submitted information towards these awards!

SPEECHES by Pam Summers, Texas Independence Trail board president