The Seguin Conservation Society is dedicated to preserving historic buildings, objects and places in Seguin and Guadalupe County. For fifty years, the SCS has acquired and renovated threatened buildings, celebrated historical events, and engaged our community in understanding and remembering our shared heritage. You can be a part of Seguin's legacy by joining or renewing your membership in the Seguin Conservation Society. As a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, all donations are tax-deductible.
Click on the icon to the left to watch a video about Seguin Conservation Society’s mission.
Click on Book to View Corporation By-laws
Click on picture of Los Nogales above for a video guide of property.
Los Nogales Museum (1849):
Birthplace of the Seguin Conservation Society
415 S. River St.
Conservator: Sally Keddal, (830) 401-0586
In 1951, the citizens of Seguin rallied to save the tiny adobe building we now call Los Nogales. Built in 1849 of hand-formed, sun-dried adobe, it is one of the oldest structures in Seguin. Virginia Woods led the effort to raise money to purchase it on the corner of River and Live Oak streets, negotiating a sale price of $750 from Dr. Hugh Davis. Her late husband, Wilton Woods, then a building contractor, supervised the reconstruction.
Authentic cypress shingles were made at a water-driven sawmill in Ottine. From that restoration effort, the Seguin Conservation Society was born.
Over the years, this primitive home with its pioneer kitchen and mysterious cellar, became home to many historical artifacts of the Conservation Society. Weather and moisture were damaging paper, leather and other materials, so the SCS has moved many items into climate-controlled storage. We also undertook an effort to put our collections on public display in alternative locations in hopes that more people in Seguin and the surrounding area will become aware of the treasures that we have.
Wells Fargo bank is currently displaying religious books from Los Nogales. Books dating to the year 1705 are in the display case in the foyer of the bank. The bank is showcasing the influence of the several nationalities that make up the population of Seguin by showing documents depicting the legacy and contributions of the Hispanic community to Seguin.
Click on picture of Los Nogales above for a video guide of property.
Dietz Doll House (1910)
415 S. River St.
Conservator: Sally Keddal, (830) 401-0586
The story of the Doll House began in 1910 when Louis Dietz, a German immigrant carpenter, built the house for his five-year-old adopted daughter, Alice O’Brien, who arrived in Seguin on an orphan train. Alice was raised by Louis and his sister, Miss Mollie, and she played in the doll house with her cousin, Emil “Buddy” Dietz.
Many years later, Pablo Castilla, a successful Hispanic immigrant entrepreneur, purchased several properties from his neighbor and friend, Louis Dietz. One of the properties purchased included the Victorian child’s playhouse, which Castilla and his son Ralph subsequently donated to the SCS in 1967. Dietz and Castilla continued their friendship and business association for many years following.
*Castilla’s oldest son, Alfred, retired to Seguin and eventually served on the SCS Board of Directors as conservator of the Doll House from 2005 to 2008. It was his dream to restore the time weathered house, and see a sidewalk added. Subsequent conservator Marvel Maddox organized local Lions' Club members and other community volunteers to renovate the Doll House and add the sidewalk. In 2010 the community celebrated the 100th birthday of the house and it was rededicated as the Dietz-Castilla Doll House. In 2012, the historic playhouse was featured as part of a Texas Toys exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures, a branch of the Smithsonian Institute.*
Presently, the doll house exhibits a variety of toys. There are folk-art dolls, tiny dolls, and dolls whose heads are
The Silver Center celebrated Education Month during September and inquired about artifacts from early Seguin and Guadalupe County. Documents from the Capote School dating to l854, a diploma from the women’s college, textbooks used in the 1870s, and the fire gong from the Mary B. Erskine School were put on temporary loan during September.
Many people were made aware of the Conservation Society’s holdings for the first time. As we begin to identify more artifacts and develop stories around them, signage will be made and the exhibits will become more enlightening and enjoyable. For example, we now have an interesting exhibit of “Laundry Day in Old Seguin.”
made of German bisque or china, and a handmade stick horse. The wardrobe and dresser were made by Louis Dietz.
Bobbie and Marvel Maddox are the current conservators and can be reached at
Campbell Log Cabin
Campbell-Hoermann Log Cabin (circa 1850)
211 E. Live Oak St.
Conservator: Norma Colunga, (830) 305-6991
Post-Civil War Texas was a land of opportunity due to a vast amount of farming and grazing land, coupled with the newly built railroads. Many immigrants came here to start a new and hopefully prosperous life. John Campbell, an immigrant from Donegal, Ireland, arrived in New Orleans in 1849. He continued his journey to the Leissner Community southwest of the Seguin area and built his home.
He built a one-room cabin about five miles southwest of Seguin. The following year he returned to Ireland and convinced 23 members of his family to return to Seguin with him. With the help of his large extended family, additions were made to the cabin. A second room with fireplace, the dog run, front and back porches. A second cabin was added to the homestead. The front and back porches were enclosed at one time to add much needed living space. Descendants of the Campbell family lived in the cabin until 1952 without the modern conveniences of running water or electricity.
The Hoermann’s (pronounced Hermann) purchased the Campbell farm and later donated the Campbell Cabin to the Conservation Society. In 1979 the cabin moved from its original location (near Seguin), to its present.
location at East Live Oak Street. It houses numerous interesting artifacts. Some of which were donated by the Campbell’s, the bed, butter churn, washtub, and scrub board.
The trunk, not original to the cabin, but did belong to a German immigrant who made his way to Texas. To make the voyage the totality of one’s belongings had to fit into a trunk this size. Nothing more was allowed. One young man wrote back to Germany to those who were to follow. “Don’t bring knives; the Texans are good knife makers. Instead, pack quilts. You’ll need them when one of those Texas “northers blows in”.
Most everyone that visits the log cabin is reminded of a simpler time, a time when a family’s everyday life was spent preparing for the next. Each day was filled with hard work, caring for family, animals, crops, and ever watchful for Indians and dangerous wildlife. Simple pleasures included, sitting on either of the two porches, watching children at play, shelling peas, and tending the garden. Many worshiped and schooled at home, until churches and schools were built nearby. The Campbell family was no different, tending to family, farm and livestock left little time for anything else. Attending Church and the occasional trips into town for supplies, selling, buying or trading livestock and crops was the highlight of the month. These occasions provided much appreciated social time.
The Seguin Conservation Society owns and maintains the Log Cabin and the surrounding properties. They are able to do this by private donations and the work of a dedicated group of Volunteers. If you are interested in donating and/or Volunteering you may do so by contacting any member of the current Board of Directors of the Seguin Conservation Society.
Seguin’s First Church and Bell Tower (1849)
213 E. Live Oak St.
Conservator: Denise Durben
Rental: Full day, $250; half-day, $125, plus $50 refundable deposit. Capacity is 60 people.
Seguin’s First Church was initially built in the center of town near the market square to support the Methodist ministers’ district convention of 1849. The church then served the immediate needs of the small town. Very quickly the church became a home for all denominations in Seguin, as well as circuit riders.
The architecture of the church is simple and very typical of German traditions. The two separate doors at the entrance, provided a left entrance for women and children, while the right entrance was for the men of the church. Once inside the church, the congregation sat on each assigned side.
In 1850, Euphemia Texas Ashby and William King were both members of this church. Euphemia and William were young and very much in love. During service one Sunday, Euphemia couldn’t help but wonder if this handsome young man was as much in love with her as she was with him. He also was so very much in love with Euphemia and likewise wondered if she loved him the same. Euphemia began to itch severely and assumed it could only be the bite of the love bug, at this same moment, William was also beginning to feel the itch and sting of the love bug. William struggled to keep his eyes off beautiful Euphemia, he looked down and realized the church was infested with fleas and it wasn’t love bugs at all. The flea infestation was most likely brought in by the market animals that were allowed to roam freely about the buildings. After the congregation scrubbed down the church with lye soap, Euphemia looked up at William and simply smiled and said YES, they were married in this same church that very year.
Seguin’s First Church
The interior of the church is very much as it was when first built. With the help of generous contributors, the church has undergone a fifth move to its current location in 1990 and numerous repairs. The Vordenbaum family donated the lovely 1875 piano. The pews are new but made to look like the oldest pew in the church. They are all made of reclaimed pine from an old building that was demolished in downtown Seguin and donated by the Dwyer family. The secretary was built by Reverend Joyce who was one of the early circuit riders and donated by his family. The First United Methodist Church of Seguin donated the pulpit and hymn boards. The Bell Tower, although not original was a project of the Seguin Chamber of Commerce Leadership Training Class of 2003.
Today the First Church hosts, intimate gatherings throughout the year. Weddings are frequently held here, as is baptisms and has served as a back drop for many photos. The Charm of this quaint building has remained the same as when Euphemia and William first announced their love for one another.
The First Church is available for rent.
Full Day Rental $250
Half Day Rental $125
Should you be interested please call or email either Norma Jean Colunga 830-305-6991, or Beth Zies 830-379-7062,
The First Church is maintained by the funds received from rentals, donations, and the endless dedication of the Seguin Conservation Society.
425 N. Austin Street
Conservator: Steve Tschoepe, (830) 401-1971
Rental: Eight hours, $900, plus $250 deposit; Four hours, $500, plus $125 deposit; $200 Lobby and Reception area only, $100 deposit.
Begun in 1929 and opening in 1931, the Texas is a glamorous, atmospheric movie palace on a small scale, often described as “an intimate gem”. The original owner was A.P. Mueller and W. Scott Dunne was the architect. According to an article in the Seguin Enterprise newspaper on March 12, 1931, (Beautiful Texas Theatre to Open Here March 19), Marvin Eickenroht drew the architectural plans and Albert Nolte, local contractor, built the theatre.
A significant historic feature of The Texas was its accommodations for the hearing impaired.
The newspaper article stated, “The latest approved Western Electric equipment will be used in projecting its pictures and to this has been added a wrinkle that is new in the business, but approved, and that is that a number of seats have been equipped with an apparatus that can be used by people who are hard of hearing. This equipment is connected directly with the main mechanism and machinery creating the sound, and will permit persons almost deaf to enjoy the show to the fullest.”
The marquee sign was touted in 1931 as an ornament designed to compare with the finest show houses. “It is adorned with a beautiful electric sign in front”, according to the article, “an ornament not only for this town,
but for a large city. It carries 620 globes to illuminate it. The top of the sign displays a white Texas star to symbolize the name of the theatre”.
The Texas Theatre has been seen in several major motion pictures as a classic of its time. In addition to period films such as The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Raggedy Man (1981), and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991), The Texas has been in countless commercial advertisements and featured in Texas Monthly’s “The Last Picture Show” by Anne Dingus, December 1995.
As an historic theatre, The Texas is a cultural treasure. Unlike many historical theatres that have undergone misguided modernization attempts, The Texas remains nearly as it was in 1931, with horsehair batting behind its Mediterranean murals, gilded hand-made mica lamps, original seats, and large-reel projectors. The historic significance of the marquee is further evidenced in its re-creation and prominent display in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
In 1996, The Seguin Conservation Society acquired The Texas Theatre and began plans to restore the treasure to past glory. The cost to renovate The Texas into a state-of-the-art, multi-media theatre is $2,500,000. Renowned architect Milton Babbitt, A.I.A, lead architect for restoring the historic Majestic and Empire theatres in San Antonio, developed the original construction and expansion plans that maintain the historic integrity of The Texas while enlarging the rehearsal, backstage, and reception areas to meet modern needs.
In the summer of 2006, the campaign celebrated the announcement of a generous gift and pledge from the Stephen & Mary Birch Foundation totaling $1 million dollars. This gift, combined with prior and ongoing fundraising efforts has made the dream of seeing this star reborn a true reality.
The Stephen and Mary Birch Texas Theatre had its new grand opening in March, 2011 with a multitude of activities for all ages.
After January 1, 2013:
$900 - 8 hour rental of Theatre, Lobby, and Reception area. ($250 security deposit)
$500 - Limited 4 hour rental of Theatre, Lobby, Reception area.
($125 security deposit)
$125 each additional hour over time reserved
$200 - Lobby and Reception area only. ($100 security deposit)
For rental information call: 830-372-6168, 830-401-1971, or 830-303-7333
Copyright © 2019 Seguin Conservation Society