Last updated: 2/13/2012
Texarkana, Texas
Street Address
219 N. State Line Ave.
Texarkana, TX 75501
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2343
Texarkana, TX 75504
phone: 903-793-4831
fax: 903-794-7108
e-mail: information@texarkanamuseums.org
web: www.texarkanamuseums.org
Hours
Museum of Regional History
Self-guided tours.
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Discovery Place Children's Museum
Hands-on exhibitions and activities
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Ace of Clubs House
Available for guided tours only. Call for tour times.
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
P.J. Ahern House
Not open to the public at this time.
Admissions
Admission Fee Charged
Members: free
Services
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Staff
Jamie Simmons, Curator/Website
Melissa Nesbitt, Ace of Clubs House Curator
phone: 903-793-4831
Description

The Texarkana Museums System offers three fun and fascinating ways to explore Texarkana’s past, present and future. TMS operates the Museum of Regional History, the Draughon-Moore “Ace of Clubs” House and the Discovery Place Children’s Museum in historic downtown Texarkana.

TMS Online Archives

The Texarkana Museums System houses an archive of over 25,000 photographs, scrapbook and other research materials. To make this collection more accessible, TMS is digitizing a portion of the archives and sharing these scans with the public. Image scans, audio clips and more await the Texarkana History enthusiast, all free to the public. Please see our website for details.

Mission

TMS Mission Statement

The Texarkana Museums System (TMS) is a-not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational organization that offers high-quality learning experiences focusing on history, science, art, and music. TMS is committed to the collection and conservation of materials relating to the human occupation of the region, to the preservation of the buildings it holds in trust for the people of the Four States Area, and to the enhancement of cultural opportunities and quality of life for all its residents. TMS is committed to maintaining professional and ethical excellence in all its operations and adheres to the standards set forth by the American Association of Museums.

History

TMS History

A group of local citizens established the Texarkana Historical Society in 1966. In an effort to preserve Texarkana’s unique history, the group began collecting archival materials. In 1971, the Society opened the Texarkana Historical Museum, now the Museum of Regional History. The new Museum was opened in the historic Offenhauser Insurance building, the oldest surviving brick building in Texarkana.

The collections expanded to include regional and Caddo artifacts and information. The Museum of Regional History includes a vast collection of research materials and photographs available to the public by appointment.

In 1985, the Society obtained the Draughon-Moore "Ace of Clubs" House, which is a unique octagonal house built in 1885. The house was restored and opened for public tours in 1987.

In 1990, Discovery Place Children's Museum opened in the old Bryce's Cafeteria building. Discovery Place is a hands-on museum of science, history, and human perception. It also houses traveling exhibits, a fifty-seat video theater, and a classroom.

2010 saw the addition of a fourth property to the TMS collection, its first on the Arkansas side. The historic Patrick J. Ahern home in the heart of the Quality Hill Historic District was donated by the family and is set to open to the public in 2012.

To reflect its expanded mission, the Society changed its name to the Texarkana Museums System in 1993. The organization received accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1991.

The TMS museums continue to serve Texarkana and the Ark-La-Tex through regular exhibits, public programs, educational events, and preservation efforts.

Artifact Collections

TMS Collections

The Texarkana Museums System Collections include Caddo Artifacts, fossils, 19th and 20th Century clothing, textiles, tools, machines and agricultural Implements. Special collections include medical tools and equipment.

Research Collections

Research & Archival Collections

Ephemera - newspapers, photographs, personal histories, postcards, yearbooks, letters, diaries, cookbooks, magazines- are all available for research by appointment. Audio and film collections include oral histories collected from Texarkana Pioneers in the 1970s. The archives include a collection of 700 blueprints from the firm of Witt, Siebert and Halsey.

Educational Programs

Educational Programs, Tours and Resources

The Texarkana Museums System is made up of three facilities: Texarkana Historical Museum, Ace of Clubs House, and Discovery Place. TMS offers educational programming for school groups, grades pre-K to 12. TMS has educational tour programs, museum tours, Rose Hill Cemetery tour, special exhibits, in-class presentations, and teacher workshops.

The education tour programs must be scheduled. TMS has hands-on history trunks for loan. Each trunk includes artifacts, teacher background information, suggested classroom activities, and student take-home booklets. They may be checked out for one week. TMS also has traveling exhibits such as A Family Portrait, a photographic exhibit that focuses on an African-American family of southwest Arkansas at the beginning of the 20th century; House Detectives, a workbook introducing students to basic architectural elements and featuring examples of structures located in Miller, Little River, Sevier, and Hempstead County, Arkansas; and a video of Scott Joplin, Texarkana native and jazz composer.

The history trunks and traveling exhibits are available for free to schools. A small fee is charged for other organizations wishing to borrow these materials.

Facilities

Auditoriums

Lecture Halls

Performance Areas

Library

TMS Research Library

Ephemera - newspapers, photographs, personal histories, postcards, yearbooks, letters, diaries, cookbooks, magazines- are all available for research by appointment. Audio and film collections include oral histories collected from Texarkana Pioneers in the 1970s. The archives include a collection of 700 blueprints from the firm of Witt, Siebert and Halsey. A small fee is charged to access the collections.

Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

Appointment required: Yes

Publications

Newsletter four times a year, annual report, grant-funded publications.

ADA

Wheelchair Accessible

Parking

Restrooms

Services

Group Tours Available

Group Tours are available at a discounted rate but must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Group Tours

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MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 — Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference 2022
Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri
Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18, 2022 — Kingsport, Tennessee
Tennessee Association of Museums 2022 Annual Conference
Kingsport, Tennessee
Tuesday, March 22 - Friday, March 25, 2022 — Waco, Texas
Texas Association of Museums 2022 - Growing Together: Tackling The Challenges Of Today & Tomorrow
Waco, Texas
Thursday, April 7 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 — Point Pleasant, West Virginia
West Virginia Association of Museums 2022 Conference
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Sunday, April 24 - Tuesday, April 26, 2022 — Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
PA Museums’ 2022 Conference
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 28, 2022 — Statesboro, Georgia
Center of Excellence Tick Workshop 2022
Statesboro, Georgia
Monday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
InterActivity 2022: Play The Long Game -Association of Children's Museums
St. Louis, Missouri
Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22, 2022 — Slinger, Wisconsin
2022 Fire Museum Seminar
Slinger, Wisconsin
Sunday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — Golden, Colorado
2022 Country School Association of America Conference
Golden, Colorado
Thursday, June 23 - Tuesday, June 28, 2022 — Tacoma, Washington
ALHFAM 2022 CONFERENCE & ANNUAL MEETING
Tacoma, Washington
Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022 — Owings Mills, Maryland
ASSOCIATION OF NATURE CENTER ADMINISTRATORS 2022 ANNUAL SUMMIT
Owings Mills, Maryland
Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
Buffalo, New York