LA GRANGE – The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange has dedicated a new facility, the Czech Newspaper Museum, at the Czech Village in La Grange.
The new museum is a replica of an 1800s print shop and tells the story of numerous early Czech newspapers printed across Texas. The museum showcases the tools of a trade — a printing press, an engine and other equipment that was used to print newspapers in that era.
According to the Brenham Banner Press, the working press on exhibit in the museum was used to print the first Czech language newspaper in the U.S. in Iowa. It is powered by the steam engine that once powered the press that printed the La Grange Journal.
At the museum’s recent dedication, contributor Gary McKee shared the early history of numerous Czech newspapers in the area going back to the 19th Century. Some of those included the Texan & Slovan, first published in La Grange in 1879; the Bratrské Listy, or “Brethren Journal”, first published in Brenham in 1902; and the Našinec, meaning “Fellow Countrymen”, established in 1914 in Hallettsville.
A group of volunteers who donated their time, finances and knowledge to make the museum a reality were honored at the grand opening ceremony.
The museum is located at 250 West Fairgrounds Road in LaGrange. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. More information is available on the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center website, www.czechtexas.org.