Street Address
One Monument Circle
La Porte, TX 77571
Mailing Address
One Monument Circle
La Porte, TX 77571
phone: 713-479-2421
fax: 713-479-2428
Museum Type(s)
George J. Donnelly, President & CEO
phone: 281-479-2421
Larry Spasic, Chief Operations Officer
Brian Butcher, Director of Collections Management
Lisa Struthers, Library Director
Vonice Henderson, Business Manager


San Jacinto Museum of History in La Porte, TX is one of more than 15,400 museums in the MuseumsUSA directory. Find an exciting museum to visit where you live or vacation today.


The achievement of a small army led by Sam Houston on April 21, 1836, at a battlefield soon to be called San Jacinto, was never far from the minds of leaders of the new Republic of Texas.

In 1856, efforts to erect a fitting memorial had been initiated by the Texas Veterans Association. Specific recognition of the historic value of the battlefield came in the 1890s when the Texas Legislature provided funds and gave the State authority to purchase the battlefield from its private owners.

After years of lobbying by two patriotic organizations, the Daughters and Sons of the Republic of Texas, and spurred by the upcoming centennial celebration of Texas independence, local business leaders successfully acquired the federal and state funds to build an appropriate memorial building. Construction began in 1936 under the supervision of Alfred C. Finn, a talented Houston architect who employed a Rice Institute instructor and sculptor, William McVey, to assist in the design of the building. The finished products were a memorial tower and a functional 125 feet square base consisting of two entrance foyers and two large galleries originally intended for Texan exhibitions.

The memorial tower was nearing completion in 1938 when the San Jacinto State Park Commission, realizing that funds were almost depleted, appointed five distinguished Houstonians on September 22, 1938, to form a museum of history to occupy the building. Shortly thereafter, on November 7, 1938, these trustees chartered the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, a non-profit organization to own, operate, and support the museum which would revisualize the history of Texas and the region; instill and encourage historical inquiry; collect and preserve the materials of history and spread historical information; illustrate the chronological story of the region as determined from authoritative history by means of exhibits worthy of a museum of first rank; extend and diffuse knowledge of our history, and promote and perpetuate peace, friendship, and sympathetic understanding between the people of Texas and the people of Mexico, Spain, France, and the Latin-American Republics.

Today, the monument is operated for the State of Texas by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Artifacts Collections

The museum's collection contains well over 100,000 accessions of every type and form, ranging from pre-Columbian artifacts, objects reflecting the daily lives of people who lived in New Spain and Mexico, to artifacts documenting 19th-century Texas. The visual arts collection consists of some 10,000 items including paintings of prominent citizens of Mexico and Texas as well as Spanish and American engravings, lithographs, and photographs.

The Hill family (James Monroe Hill was appointed chairman of the San Jacinto Commission in 1897) has contributed to the museum's success through generous gifts of vast and priceless collections of documents, books, and relics relating to the exploration and settlement of Mexico and the greater Texas region. Descendants of Mirabeau B. Lamar, Thomas Jefferson Chambers, Sidney Sherman, and many other prominent Texans have contributed generously to the museum's holdings. Mrs. Madge Hearne, granddaughter of Sam Houston, selected the museum as an appropriate place for the preservation of her grandfather's personal possessions.

Educational Programs

Teacher workshops and teacher curriculum guide; borrower pays shipping and handling


    Newsletter - The Advance; W. H. Goetzmann's Sam Chamberlain's Mexican War: The San Jacinto Museum of History; Paintings; Picture Book of the San Jacinto Museum of History Honor Roll of the Battle of San Jacinto