PAVILION, PARKING LOT, LEGACY BRICK PATHWAY PROJECT
The Texas Cotton Gin Museum in Burton is pleased to announce the completion of a new covered pavilion to expand capacity for its annual Cotton Gin Festival and other community events. Additional updates include expanded parking and a revamp of the Museum’s Legacy Brick Pathway. Work for the project completed by Agri-Con Construction, DDM-Brenham, Korth-Linke Welding, South Central Concrete, and Washington County Landscapes.
Financing for the expansion and updates was provided Janet & Tom Whitener, the local non-profit organization Burton Friends and Neighbors, Dixie & Ron Hall, and Jayme Ponder, in Memory of Harley Ponder, Michelle Whitener Bishop, Bill Whitener, and Wanda & Bob Whitener. The new pavilion equals the size of the current pavilion, effectively doubling the Museum’s covered pavilion capacity.
The new pavilion will be named in honor of Oliver Whitener (1920-2005), who dedicated his time, expertise, and considerable financial support during his lifetime for the betterment of the Burton Community. Oliver Whitener was a lifelong rancher and the Whitener Ranch outside of Burton, founded in 1853, continues as one of the oldest active ranches in Texas. Oliver served on the local Burton School Board for 20 years, the Blinn College Board of Trustees for 12 years, as a board member and Chairman of the Burton State Bank for 27 years, as a charter member of the Burton Lions Club for 32 years, and in 2005 was selected as Washington County Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year.
However, Oliver is perhaps best known for his hobby of carving unique ball-in-a-cage wooden walking canes. He carved over 500 canes and gave away more than 450 of them, including several each year to Burton organizations for their fundraisers, including the Museum. During his lifetime, almost $90,000 was raised for local organizations from the sale of his canes.
The Museum is pleased to honor his memory with the new pavilion. The entire pavilion complex is now named Oliver Whitener-Roy Winkler Pavilions.