Adventures in Yoakum and Shiner, Texas

This is how we happened to have adventures in Yoakum and Shiner, Texas. It seems like hurricanes affect what we do and where we go a lot these days, doesn’t it? Well, for our last storm, Beta, we took our RV out to Yoakum to a storage facility as a precaution in case of a high storm surge in our driveway where the RV was parked.

We chose Yoakum, Texas, which is over two and a half hours from home, because we planned to explore that area when we picked it up, so multi-tasking, right? The storm surge did not ever affect the street side of our home, and we experienced only minor flooding in our backyard. We are still watching our peach tree to see if it will be affected by the salt water, though.


Steve had lived in Yoakum for several months a few years ago while working in the area and really enjoyed the people and the town of Yoakum. He was eager to visit again as a visitor this time. Through an online search, we found Gary Chandler’s Ace RV Park & Storage at 5692 FM 318 E, Yoakum, TX 77995, and that’s where we left the RV for a few days until we returned.

When we returned to pick it up, it was late in the day, and we were able to move it from where it was being stored on the grass to a concrete slab RV site for the night. This property had lots of space, which our dogs, Lilly and Tank, greatly appreciated. Only 3-4 RVs were parked there at that time.

H & H Café and Bakery

719 Lott St.
Yoakum, TX 77995

Our first stop of the day was this very popular café and bakery. It was lunchtime by the time we got to the café, and as we walked toward it from where we parked, we saw a steady stream of customers making their way to there at the same time. This apparently is THE place to be for meals.

Delicious-looking baked goods were in the glass case just inside the door, but we walked right by that and got in the long but quick-moving cafeteria-style line for a meal – first. Home cooking at its finest!

We both decided on enchiladas but will have to return for the barbeque, chicken-fried steak, meatloaf, fish, shrimp, so many choices! Guess what? There’s a drive-thru order window also! Many cars were lined up, picking up to-go orders.

Service was speedy, especially considering the number of guests being served. This will be our stop for a good meal whenever we are in the area. I am especially interested in their breakfast fare. We purchased a delicious loaf of jalapeno bread on our way out.

Yoakum is a small town with under 6,000 residents and is about a half-hour drive south from Flatonia or Schulenberg at I-10 West. There is, of course, lots more to Yoakum than we saw, but it is a lovely community with many historical buildings in the center of town.


Green Dickson Park
City Park
Football Road
Shiner, TX 77984

Our view from our campsite.

Green Dickson RV Park in Shiner was our next overnight stop. This is a huge park adjacent to Shiner’s high school. We got set up and headed back to town to explore. 

Shiner Brewery Sign

Of course, we wanted to tour the Shiner Brewery (The Spoetzl Brewery, to be accurate); however, tours are not being given then. Another day.

Veteran’s Memorial at Green Dickson Park

The Edwin Wolters Museum

306 S. Avenue I
Shiner, TX

This is a terrific museum in the 1915 Edwin and Hennie Wolters home containing tons and tons of history displayed in several rooms and outbuildings, including an implement shed, General Store, City Jail, and George Herder Home. We spent a long time here and still did not see all there was to see. We were greeted at the door of the museum by the Curator, Duff Wagner.

Duff is one of the most hospitable and knowledgeable museum curators we have come across. Steve was especially interested in the military room housed in one of the exhibit rooms in the Wolters’ home. Duff could answer all his questions and had great stories to tell us.

The fascinating story of the 1894 attempted bank robbery is told by Edwin Wolters Memorial Museum Curator Duff Wagner.
Now we know why almost all buildings in Shiner are brick buildings.

Victrola on display at Edwin Wolters Memorial Museum

Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church

I took a trip to the nearby Schulenberg area not so long ago to see some of the Painted churches this area is so famous for.  It just so happens Shiner is home to one of those painted churches I had not been able to visit yet. I took that trip alone, so this was Steve’s first painted church. This 1921 red brick Romanesque Revival style church has strikingly beautiful painted murals and stained glass windows imported from Bavaria. Take a look at my Painted Churches post to read about other painted churches nearby.

Ghost Signs!

Before we visited Shiner, I checked online to see what was available in that community. I came across a link titled ghost signs, and while I may be the only clueless person, I had no idea what on earth a ghost sign could possibly be.

I learned that ghost signs are faded and very often barely noticeable huge hand-painted signs found today on old brick buildings. They can be found in small towns, like Shiner, but are also located in large cities throughout the United States, not just Texas.

I’m sure if you think a minute, you’ll realize you’ve seen many ghost signs but may not have known the name they have been given or the history they display. The products painted on these walls are often but not always products that are no longer in existence. Many are still there to be seen; you need to look for them.

The signs were painted in the 1890s with bright, heavily leaded paint by sign painters known as “wall dogs” and are slowly fading over time.

These signs, some of which could be considered ugly sights that should be removed, are named ghost signs for several reasons. They often advertise products no longer being sold; you may only be able to barely make out the letters or design until after a rain that brings out the color and design.

Sometimes, these signs are only discovered after a fire or storm exposes them painted on a hidden wall. Look around. I bet you can find at least one somewhere.

These signs have come to the attention of historical conservation organizations throughout the country. They are now being recognized as a lost art form and are even being restored in some areas. Another thing that is curious to me is that there are ghost sign impersonators!

These are signs painted in the recent past that were created for movies. These are often painted by skilled painters and made to appear as ghost signs. Examples of these signs can be found in Smithville, Texas, where Hope Floats was filmed in 1998.

The lettering is often not as meticulous as actual ghost signs. However, some of the painters are real former ghost sign painters. Since paints used today do not contain as much lead as in years past, peeling and flaking occur on these movie ghost signs.

I am delighted to have learned about these ghost signs and this interesting piece of history, and we will look for these on our future travels.

Werner’s 5 Ninety 4 Grill

317 N Avenue E
Shiner, TX 77984

We try to be economical and prepare our meals in the RV. Still, sometimes, as at Yoakum’s H&H Café & Bakery and Werner’s Restaurant, we do go to restaurants. Werner’s Restaurant was recommended to Steve by the owner’s son, and it was an excellent recommendation.

The Restaurant was comfortably crowded with local families and friends dining out on a weeknight. We both had delicious and huge sandwiches. Steve’s was a hamburger, but that’s a sandwich, right? This is yet another place we want to return to try other menu items. This Restaurant gets five stars from us.

This was another fun and exciting adventure into small-town Texas. We needed to get back home so our adventure had to end. We took the country roads scenic route home. Steve drove the RV, and I followed in my car. Following Steve was the most relaxing, mindless driving I’ve ever done. I listened to a book all the way, and before I knew it, we were home!

Adventures in Yoakum and Shiner, Texas

7 thoughts on “Adventures in Yoakum and Shiner, Texas

  1. Steve and Debbie: Thank you for taking the time to visit the Wolters Museum in Shiner. It was great to meet y’all and share memories and a pleasure to show y’all everything. I hope you return when we complete the addition to the Implement Shed and display the refurbished Joe Patek Orchestra instrument trailer and the big Gardner-Denver air compressor. I really like your travel blog with its stories and videos of places you have visited! Very neat and professional! Take care! Your friend: Duff

    1. Thank you for reading our Shiner story. We enjoyed your museum so much as well as the opportunity to spend time visiting with you while there. You are a great storyteller and have a tremendous knowledge of history in your area. We will return to see the new additions also!

  2. Pingback: Czech immigrants' painted churches | Always Want To Go
  3. Sorry you missed the tour at the brewery and sorry we missed the museum! And we did see the painted church.
    Neat info on ghost signs!

    1. We will have to go back to see the brewery! The curator, Duff Wagner, made the museum so interesting for us, worth a stop in next time you’re out that way.

  4. Good videos and story of the bank robbery! I am surprised Steve passed up the sweets at the bakery.

    1. Thank you. I was also very surprised about the sweets!

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