Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - July 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Museum visitors center holds grand opening
Houston County Courier - July 2009
Houston County has long been recognized as one of the most historic counties in Texas.
Established in 1837, the county was the first new county created by the Republic of Texas, and was named for the larger than life hero of the Battle of San Jacinto and President of the Republic, Sam Houston.
There are hundreds of recognized historic sites in Houston County. And a good place to begin exploring them is the Houston County Visitors Center and Museum, which will celebrated its official grand re-opening on Friday, July 10.
The Visitors Center/Museum is located in the historic Union Pacific Depot near downtown Crockett.
The Depot was built in 1909 and has undergone a complete renovation funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.
“I believe this is one of the best kept secrets in Texas,” said Dorothy Harrison, president of the museum board. “We have a treasure trove of history here, and we really want to encourage residents of Houston County and the surrounding area to come and see it.”
“A lot of people aren’t aware that the most decorated soldier of World War I was from Houston County,” she added. “His name was Lawson Keene and you can learn more about him in our military room. We also have uniforms from both World Wars, photographs of Confederate veterans, and more.”
“We have a rocking chair from the old Gossett home. Sam Houston used to sit in that rocking chair when he visited Crockett. Another unique item is the bill of sale for a slave. There are just so many interesting things. Just the building itself is a landmark. We’re so fortunate that Eliza Bishop and other local community leaders were able to save this depot from being razed.”
One room features a special train display which former museum president Alton Moore obtained from the children’s area of the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station.
The Houston County Visitors Center and Museum is located southwest of the courthouse square in Crockett, at 303 South First Street. It’s just two blocks south of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Hwy. 21.
Now through the end of summer, the museum is open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. each Wednesday through Saturday.
Normal admission is $2 per person. However, to encourage more local visitors, admission is free every Wednesday.
The museum is also open for group tours at other times by appointment.
For more information, contact Dorothy Harrison at 544-5507 or 546-4543.