The city of Weslaco, Texas was named as an acronym for W.E. Stewart Land Company. Early settlers came as a result of excursion parties brought from: Chicago, Kansas City, and the Midwest. These settlers converted wild brush land into thriving agricultural land irrigated by pump stations and canal systems.
In the 1800's, Downtown Weslaco was called the neon city as downtown businesses used the gas filled tubes for signage. The place to be on a Saturday night was downtown Weslaco for an ice cream soda at the corner drug store or dinner at Keno's Café and dancing at the Villa de Cortez. Today, downtown Weslaco still offers much to do on a Saturday night and businesses still use neon lights to identify their business.
Weslaco City Hall and Fire Station was renovated in 2007 and has quite a presence with its stucco exterior and tile dome. Located at 500 S. Kansas. Texas Registered Historic Landmark
Villa De Cortez was built in 1928 as a glorious community center with attractive and luxurious accommodations for land speculators and farmers considering locating in the Weslaco area. After years of disrepair, the historic structure was renovated and now provides office space, a beautiful ballroom, barber shop, and restaurants and various other retail shops. Other rooms are available for rent for community and family functions. Located at 260 S. Texas Blvd. Texas Registered Historic Landmark
Weslaco Museum commemorates Weslaco's history. Highlights included a tribute to Weslaco son Harlon H. Block. Corporal Block, killed in action 1945, was one of the famous WWII servicemen who raised the American flag at Iwo Jima. The museum features artifacts such as the telephone switchboard used in the early 1900's, a historic safe, and volumes of photos from Weslaco's early days. Weslaco Museum is located at 500 S. Texas. Call the Weslaco Museum at (956) 968-9142.
The Harlon Block Memorial is dedicated to the men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. One week after the incident, Corporal Block was killed in an assault on a Japanese position and buried there in the huge cemetery. He was later returned to Weslaco in 1949 where all seven of his former classmates served as pallbearers. The caption reports that 20 Weslaco High School students and a teacher died in WWII. The Harlon Block Memorial can be found at 1100 Vo-Tech Drive.
The Tower Theatre, located on 2nd and Kansas, is a local theatre group housed in a historic 1928 water tower storage tank. The theatre in the round seats about 100 and performances are scheduled year-round. For upcoming performances and to make reservations, call (956) 969-2368. Texas Registered Historic LandmarkOther Weslaco Texas Historic Landmarks include: