The Texas Wendish Heritage Museum preserves the history of the
Texas Wends, Slavic immigrants from Lusatia, an area in eastern
Germany. Today the Wends
of Lusatia are called Sorbs.
Additional membership categories are very important to the organization.
Membership contributions above the minimum required are added to the endowment, the income from which helps fund the operations of the museum. The higher membership categories are recognized in our newsletter and in the annual membership directory.
Couples level - $25.00
Patron level - $30.00
Sponsor level - $50.00
Century level - $100.00
Silver level - $250.00
Life membership - $1,000.00
families began arriving in Texas in 1849, followed by a group
of 35 in 1853. In 1854,
a congregation of over 500 Wends immigrated on a chartered sailing
ship, the Ben Nevis. This group founded a new homeland on 4,254
acres in then-Bastrop County (now Lee County) and named their
new town Serbin. Other
Wendish towns and congregations were soon organized.
Many more Wends immigrated during the second half of the
Museum is located in historic Serbin, near the St. Paul Lutheran
Church, school and cemetery.
The present Church building, built in 1871, is one of the
painted churches of South Central Texas.
Museum complex consists of three main buildings connected by porches.
In the center of the complex is the newest facility, The
Peter Building, which houses an interpretive display of the history
of the Wends as well as the Museum office, gift shop, library,
and archives. The other two buildings, to the right and left of
the Peter Building, are the old St. Paul School buildings. Exhibits include relics from the old country
and Texas, folk dress of Lusatia, traditional Texas wedding dresses,
and the beautiful Wendish Easter eggs.
exhibits include two log buildings and farming equipment.
The 1856 log room, built by the Kurio family and originally
part of a dogtrot home, is furnished as a bedroom.
A section of the earlier 1855 room is also preserved on
the Museum grounds. The
Mertink family log room is used to exhibit carpenter and farming
Lillie Moerbe Caldwell Memorial Library, housed in the Peter Building,
specializes in the history and genealogy of the Wendish people.
We welcome donations of family histories and genealogies.
The archives include rare books in Wendish and German,
manuscripts, personal papers, and a photographic collection.
Museum and Library are open Tuesday through Sunday from 1:00 to
5:00 PM, and are closed on Mondays and holidays. Admission to the Museum for non-members is
$2.00 for adults; admission for children 14 and under is free.