Street Address
312 Simpson
Yoakum, TX 77995
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2
Yoakum, TX 77995
Tuesday, Thursday - Friday1 PM - 4 PM
Saturday2 PM - 4 PM
Museum Type(s)
Geri Mehan, Executive Director
phone: 361-293-7002


The museum is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, featuring the original stained and beveled glass windows and ornate staircase along with other unique features.

The Yoakum Heritage Museum was built in the early 1900's by the J.K Elkin's family. This antebellum home continued as the residence for the Elkin's family until 1986 when Mary Bell Browning formally deeded the family home to the community.

Ongoing exhibits include the Leather Room, the Military Room and the Train Room. The Leather Room features a photographic history of the leather industry in Yoakum with exquisite, hand-tooled saddles on display. The Military Room houses historic artifacts from the civil War through the Vietnam War. Displays include souvenirs from local residents who served our country. The Train Room tells the history of Yoakum's railways with artifacts from the early railroad days on display.


In 1980, Mrs. Shirley Blundell, Mr.& Mrs.Raymond Witte, Attorney Elwood Gaus, and William "Bill" Browning began the preliminary action for a museum with the help of many community members. The first organizational meeting was held on November 30, 1981. A steering committee was formed and on December 8, 1981, the city council voted to support establishing a museum. The Secretary of State of Texas chartered the Yoakum Heritage Museum on January 26, 1982. The purpose for which this corporation was organized is to establish and maintain a museum to preserve the culture and heritage of Yoakum and the surrounding area. The museum was first housed in the former residence of Dr. & Mrs. John Boyd at 215 Nelson St. and opened to the public during the 1982 Tom-Tom celebration. The first display consisted of gowns and regalia of earlier celebrations in this community. In July of 1982, the museum was formally opened to the public and has been operating on a regular basis since that time. The Yoakum Heritage Museum is a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational institution and has been operating with funds contributed by the Friends of the Museum, and additional support from the City of Yoakum. During the spring of 1986, Mrs. William E. Browing offered to give the Yoakum Heritage Museum her home at 312 Simpson in Yoakum, for use as a permanent museum site. Her gift stipulated that the Board of Directors raise $75,000 to be combined with the Browning's famil gift of $25,000 for an endowment of $100,000 to be used to insure the future of the Yoakum Heritage Museum.

Artifacts Collections

In addition to ongoing exhibits, the Museum hosts several special exhibits throughtout the year including a spring exhibit, such as "Tea Party"or "Quilt Display", Tom Tom Display, Rail Days Display and Christmas Tree Forest.

Historical items that preserve the culture and heritage of the Yoakum community and surrounding geographical area.

Research Collections

Extensive information on the San Antonio/Aransas Pass railway and Leather industry in Yoakum.

Educational Programs

Annual quilt show and Annual Christmas Tree Forest.