With a 41 year history behind us, we are the largest and best museum of any kind in Chambers County. Chambers County Museum at Wallisville is uniquely set up to serve the public that is interested in history. Our location right on the frontage road of I-10 essentially in the direct center of the county is easily available for the local and the traveling public. Over 100,000 vehicles pass our location every day.
The 501 (c) (3) non profit Wallisville Heritage Park was founded by John G. Middleton in 1979. John's vision was to recreate the original town of Wallisville in hope of preserving the frontier history. Middleton built the present day museum and library in 1989, moved in two school buildings from the 1800s and had them restored as closely as possible to the original structures. The project sparked so much interest that people donated artifacts, documents and photos from their ancestors that would create enough interest to attract visitors to the new museum. Since 1979, families continue to donate items of interest to the museum, each one adding to a story or to the history of one or more families.
In addition to operating a museum and archives on Chambers County history, our facility includes a genealogy library and research center filled with approximately 2,000-2500 books. The museum also boasts some seven hundred vertical files on pioneer families of the county. The library and vertical files are open to the public at no charge. Genealogists and researchers can stop in and visit the library any time.
Our goal is to educate visitors about the history of Texas, Chambers County and the area through displays of artifacts and photos, the writing and publishing of books, genealogy records, presentations by local historians, and annual events to highlight some of the early settlers to the area. Hosting school groups, adult tour groups, and club meetings is a way to share our information with others. Older visitors are able to contribute their vast knowledge and many stories from the past, so that we may pass them on. We hope to prepare young people for the future by teaching them more about the past.
We are very thankful for our faithful volunteers who come on a regular basis and also for those who assist us when time permits. Mary Schwertner and Susan Bollich, in the photo on right, are two of our very faithful Thursday volunteers. Mary is working at present to hand draw all of the Chambers County registered brands we have in our files. Once completed I will prepare them for display. Susan Bollich not only volunteers on Thursday, but whenever there is a need she can meet, which is often. She rarely misses preparing a meal for volunteers on Thursday. Roseamary Smith, a retired school teacher, has just joined our volunteer team and is identifying and labeling the maps in our extensive collection. Once completed, she will make an easily searchable list to assist guests in locating the maps in our collection.
If you would like to volunteer to assist us at the museum we would love to talk to you. Pease call the museum or email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
Our large genealogy library of 2000-2500 books is synced with the Chambers County Library system so that every book we have is searchable on the library site. Click on the library link above to search for books. Any books available at our museum are listed on their site as, "located at Wallisville Heritage Park."
Our collection of research books is quite impressive and a valuable resource for those researching their family roots. Besides genealogy, we house many research books on topics including: local school districts, Texas history, The Civil War, Indians, and various other topics. Our library is also a Certified Texas Heritage Resource. Because we are a research library, you cannot check books out, but we look forward to helping you in your quest for information.
The Wallisville Heritage Park is a private, non-profit foundation that does not operate on county, state or federal tax funds. We are not a financial burden on the citizens or landowners of Chambers County, but we are funded through donations from private sources.
The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has hit our nation hard and museums across the land have been affected tremendously. According to the American Alliance of Museums nearly 30% of our nations museums remain closed and 12% expect not to reopen. Raising funds has been a struggle not only because of social distancing mandates during this novel pandemic, but also the devastating events of last year in the wake of Tropical Storm Imelda. Because of these catastrophes we have not been able to hold our large annual fundraiser.
Donations are gratefully accepted, as well as subscriptions to The Age, a two-page monthly paper that was established at Houston, May 15, 1871 by Daniel L. McGary, moved to Wallisville March 15, 1897, discontinued in 1908 and reestablished by the Wallisville Heritage Park, December 1, 1979. Annual subscriptions are $18. Please consider subscribing to the Age to help us preserve the rich historical legacy of Chambers County. We would love the opportunity to entertain you with historical events from the past as well as current happenings in the county.
We thank our sponsors who partner with us to preserve and promote the history of Chambers County. Without you none of this would be possible!
A nonprofit is as strong as the community that holds it up. Together, we can do more than we can do alone. Let's bring our abilities and passions together to affect real change.
There are many ways to join us and support our mission. Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, and ways that you can get our message to your friends and family.
Learn more about our upcoming events, fundraisers, and more!