By: Lindsey Kasprzak
If you’re a proud Texan and history lover like myself, then you need to check out the Heritage Museum of Montgomery.
Located right next to Candy Cane Park in Conroe on the I-45 feeder road, you’ll spot a white house that was built in the 1920’s. The house was once the home of the Grogan-Cochran family- two families that owned and operated 25 sawmills back in the early 1900’s.
When I first walked in, I was greeted and escorted to all the different galleries. Gallery One, “Glimpses of Montgomery County,” explains the history of Montgomery County, including the sawmills, oil fields, the birth of our Texas flag, and the founders of the area.
Walking across the hall to Gallery Two, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful wood floors and original wooden 1920’s door frames. My tour guide informed me that everything in the house was in its original state from when the house was built. It is obvious that this house is loved and cared for!
Gallery Two, “Towns, People & Events,” demonstrates how Montgomery County has grown in the last 100+ years and who were the people who have most influenced its growth.
I know what you’re thinking, “I can’t take my kids here! It’s a museum and they’ll get bored!” Oh, think again, my friend! Not only is the Heritage Museum full of history for all ages, but Gallery Three, the “Discovery Room,” is a whole room just for the kids (and the kid in you) to touch things. In the Discovery Room, kids of all ages can explore a log cabin and a turn of the century general store. There is “old-timey” clothing to try on, a period general store for pretend shopping, and the opportunity to be a mercantile shop keeper with a working antique cash register. The log cabin provides insight into the past and the much simpler, though not necessarily easier, life in the typical pioneer home. The items on display in the home and store awaken a whole new world of the history of the times, clothing, and conveniences and offers a brief escape from the modern-day technology of today.
Now you may be thinking “that has to be it, what else could you possibly fit into a 1920’s house?” How about an art gallery? Gallery Four houses the Mark C. Clapham Art Gallery. This exhibit consists of a comprehensive collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures that’s were the life work of the renowned Texas painter and Sculptor, Mark Clapham. He loved the area so much that, upon his death in 2012, he wanted the contents of his studio and much of his remaining artwork to be available at the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County for the enjoyment of the community. Honoring his distant Chickasaw Indian heritage, Mark devoted his many talents to the heritage and culture of Native Americans. The winner of many prestigious awards, you may recognize Mark’s work on the mural that spans SH 105 in downtown Conroe, TX, between the courthouse buildings.
After checking out the amazing artwork, I headed over to the giftshop and picked up some Texas souvenirs that every true Texan has to have. I the hallway towards the exit, there is even more beautiful frame work on the walls.
Finally, the museum offers an area in the hallway where anyone is welcome to come a do research on the county history or their own family history. I actually found myself and my family in the historical book that they have for sale.
For more information about the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County visit: www.heritagemuseum.us
Some information in this article was sited from heritagemuseum.us