Street Address
303 South First
Crockett, TX 75835
Mailing Address
Box 449
Crockett, TX 75835
phone: 409-544-9520
fax: 409-544-8053
Museum Type(s)
Staff
Eliza H. Bishop
phone: 409-544-3255 x238

Description

Having been through the IRS wringer to secure a 501 (c) (3) rating, I react to questions about flavor and spirit where the Houston County Visitors Center/Museum, Inc. (VC/M) is concerned. We are still fighting to become locally, to complete the transformation of the 1909 railroad depot interior for reuse, to line out what materials and collections we ll accept and how to display them, to secure supporters who will become a Board, to define policies, to find volunteers to keep a schedule, to battle for survival in a location where dopesters and gangs assemble and loot and vandalize down by the railroad tracks , and to fight for funds and refuse to become a reject. There is a need for a museum in this first County signed by order of President Sam Houston of the Republic of Texas June 12, 1837, and this landmark structure of the 1909 Crockett depot is a worthy spot.

Railroad tracks parallel First Street running north and south with an overpass over El Camino Real, now SH-21 at an intersection with First Street. The Department of Transportation for Texas recently gave us a special marker for the 300th anniversary of El Camino Real for our year-long celebration at the VC/M.

Inside the VC/M, we have collection items ranging from ox bows to railroad items. Since this is a farming area (or was until around 1960) where cotton was king, we recapture that bygone era with tools and an old gin on an adjacent property. We have tried to pull in our 53 communities and five municipalities with mini exhibits since we have celebrated the sesquicentennial with Texas and our own in 1986-7. Many of our exhibits have been developed through junior high school class projects. This enables us to get young folks interested.

As you can tell, we still have our steam up. We believe we are right and are moving ahead. We welcome this chance to exchange ideas with others, not only to survive, but to grow and become. Thank you for this opportunity.

History

Houston County Historical Commission Chairman Eliza Bishop went before the Railroad Commission in 1982, along with Chamber of Commerce representatives, to attempt to continue the Missouri-Pacific Railroad service and, if not that, to save the depot building and reuse it for a museum. The structure was the third depot, built in 1909 of concrete and brick. In December 1983, the building deed was received by the Commission. The Commission had no funds to continue the museum, and the Historical Projects of Houston County took over the effort and managed the museum until 1991. In May 1993, a non-profit Houston County Visitors Center, Museum Inc., was chartered and its 501 (c) (3) status was received in July 1994.

The museum is currently involved in finishing transformation of the building as drawn and outlined by Architect David Woodcock, and focusing on exhibits and maintenance.

Artifacts Collections

The Houston County Visitors Center/Museum is currently transforming the 1909 railroad depot interior for reuse, and outlining what materials and collections the museum will accept and how to display them. The museum has collection items ranging from ox bows to railroad items. Since this was a cotton farming area until around 1960, the museum has farming tools and an old gin on an adjacent property. We now have Crockett s 1929 Seagraver fire engine. We have also developed an exhibit of Crockett s fire department from organization in 1910 to present day around the truck. A county-wide old drug stores exhibit is underway

Educational Programs

Exhibitions, teacher workshops, gallery tours, lectures; available for postage or transportation cost.

    Publications

    Regular publication is a single sheet introduction of the facility; annual report is given at annual session. In cooperation with Houston County Historical Commission, the VC/M has a "Mini History" flyer.