Museums in East Texas
East Texas offers a wide variety of museums, dealing with area history, railroads, aviation, the arts, music and much more!
Included on this page are highlights of some of the more popular museums across this part of Texas.
Whether you are touring in the south part of East Texas, around Beaumont and Port Arthur, or in Upper East Texas in the Tyler area, there are museums of interest to everyone.
McFaddin-Ward House and Museum
The stately McFaddin-Ward House was built in 1906 in the Beaux-Arts Colonial style. The building and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of the prominent family who lived in the house for 75 years. All tours of the main house are docent-led. Located at 1906 Calder Avenue in Beaumont. For more information visit the McFaddin-Ward House Website (photo courtesy of Beaumont CVB)
Texas Energy Museum
The Texas Energy Museum tells the story of oil through colorful, state-of-the-art exhibits.
The exhibits depict petroleum geology, formation of oil and gas, history and technology of oil production, and refining and petrochemicals.
The Museum depicts the unique story of the early Spindletop oil discovery in 1901 with a complete rotary rig from the Spindletop era.
Located at 600 Main Street in downtown Beaumont.
Fire Museum of Texas
Open since 1984, this tribute to firefighters houses a collection of antique engines and firefighting equipment dating back to the 1800s. Take your picture in front of the original World’s Largest Fire Hydrant! Activities for children include the chance to dress up in a firefighter uniforms and drive the fire engine simulator. The museum also has a gift shop to buy souvenirs. Located at 400 Walnut Street. For more information visit the Fire Museum of Texas Website
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Memorial Museum
The museum documents the multitude of awards, records and achievements throughout the life of the region’s hometown legend, the world’s greatest female athlete and Olympic gold-medalist, Mildred Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
Located at 1750 Interstate 10 East.
American Freedom Museum
The American Freedom Museum is located just a few blocks from downtown Bullard on the Brookhill School campus. The Museum contains 15,000 sq.ft. of galleries showcasing a collection of 700 artifacts and documents about our nation’s history. We recommend a trip to the museum, and exploring the Hall of Presidents and the Hall of Freedom.
Texas Country Music Hall of Fame & Tex Ritter Museum
The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame was initiated in 1998 to celebrate the contributions of Texans to the country music profession.
The project highlights those individuals who are recognized nationally as outstanding in their field.
The impressive structure in Carthage encompasses 13,000 square feet of space for exhibits, a gift shop and a large banquet room.
The facility can accommodate groups of 300 for lecture-type seating or more than 200 for catered dinners.
Panola County Historical and Genealogical Society / Old Jail
The Panola County Historical and Genealogical Association (PCHGA) was founded by ordinary people in the community who had an interest in family and local history and who wanted to preserve our heritage. So, they met and formed PCHGA to serve those ends.
The Old jail in Carthage was built in 1891, and now features a free museum. It is located at 213 North Shelby in Carthage. The upstairs of the Old Jail is now used as a museum. The old cells and locks are still intact. The bottom floor of the jail is where the jailer's family lived and where meals were prepared for the prisoners by the jailer's wife. The bottom floor now has three book rooms with a good representation of states, counties and family history ; a computer room with four computers for public use; and an office with one computer for keeping up with the daily affairs of PCHGA. The PCHGA Old Jail Library is open three days per week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday afternoon. Phone 903.693.3388 for more information.
Read more about the Panola County Museum and Old Jail
|The Patricia Huffman Smith NASA "Remembering Columbia" Museum
Located at 375 Sabine Street in Hemphill ... Phone 409.787.4827. More info at
Remembering the Columbia Shuttle Museum website
Jefferson Historical Society Museum
The museum building was constructed in 1888 - 1890 as a Federal Courthouse and Post Office, remaining in use until 1961. It was purchased by the Jefferson Historical Society in 1965 to be the permanent home of the museum.
The museum was formed for historical and literary purposes, including the discovery, collection and preservation of books, pamphlets, maps, genealogies, portraits, paintings, relics, manuscripts, letters, journals, and and all articles and materials which pertain and relate to the history of Jefferson and Marion County, Texas.
The museum is a great place to begin your visit to Jefferson and learn more about the history of this fascinating city.
Located at 223 West Austin Street in Jefferson. Phone 903.665.2775, or
East Texas Oil Museum
Kilgore at one time boasted a single downtown city block with the densest concentration of oil derricks in the world.
The East Texas Oil Museum is located on the campus of Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. This fascinating museum houses the authentic re-creation of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s from the largest oil field inside U.S. boundaries.
Here, visitors see the people, their towns, their personal habits, their tools and their pastimes – all colorfully depicted in dioramas, movies, sound presentations and actual antiques donated by East Texas citizens.
Located at Hwy. 259 at Ross St., Kilgore, TX 75662. For details, call the museum at 903.983.8295.
Rangerette Showcase and Museum
Located on the Kilgore College campus, The Rangerette Showcase and Museum features a mechanized display of Rangerette props, a display of costumes from the spring stage show, Rangerette Revels, and thousands of photographs and newspaper clippings depicting the Rangerettes' storied history. For more information visit the Rangerette Showcase Website
Museum of East Texas
The Museum of East Texas is located at 503 N. Second Street in Lufkin, Texas.
Seven women had a dream in 1972—a dream to transform the burned out shell of the former St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church into an arts and historical center for the children and families of East Texas. Since its inception in 1976, the Museum of East Texas has grown to become a dynamic cultural center. Originally in a historic 1906 church, the Museum contains an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures produced by East Texas artists as well as American, Latin American and European masters.
The Museum offers a variety of public programs throughout the year and its commitment to visual arts education and cultural enrichment is the driving force behind all of its programs. Exhibitions, lectures, workshops, children’s events and fundraisers cover a wide range of interests and topics and are sure to appeal to everyone.
For details, call the museum at 903.639.4434.
Texas Forestry Museum
The mission of the Texas Forestry Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret objects, papers, and photographs which pertain to the natural and cultural history of the people, places, and products and benefits associated with the forest, forestry, and related professions, and the forest-related industries in the state of Texas.
One of the largest museums of its kind in the United States, the Texas Forestry Museum is a fun place for the whole family to look at the past, present and future of trees - How we grow trees, harvest trees, transport trees, process trees, and use trees in our daily lives. Featured exhibits include Sawmill Town, Paper Mill, Money Trees, logging train, fire tower, and Urban Wildscape Trail.
The Museum is located at 1905 Atkinson Drive in Lufkin. Phone 936.632.9535
Mount Vernon Museums
Museum featuring the Don Meredith Exhibit in downtown Mount Vernon, Texas
- Old Depot Museum - restored 1894 Cotton Belt Depot featuring railroading exhibits, working telegraphy and model train layouts. Available for meetings, seminars and group gatherings.
- Old Jail Art Museum - housed in 1912 jail and features changing art exhibitions and permanent collections
Bankhead Highway Visitors Center
The Center is located in the home of Col. Henry Clay Thruston, the tallest soldier in the Civil War. It is situated on the historic Bankhead Highway, an early transcontinental route from Washington, D.C. to San Diego, about 0.2 miles west of Mount Vernon on Highway 37.
Adjacent is the Dupree Park and Nature Preserve, 57 acre nature preserve with walking trails and pavilion.
Sterne Hoya Museum
|Millard's Crossing Historic Village
Traveler reviews and photos at TripAdvisor
Stone Fort Museum
The campus of Stephen F. Austin is home to a fort that never served as a fort. Stone Fort Museum was a trading post, private home, church, jail, and saloon. Located at 1808 Alumni Drive North at SFA.
In August of 1954 Southern Pacific terminated passenger services through Nacogdoches.
The depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
It is now home to the SFA Center for Regional Heritage and features rotating museum displays such as the Loblolly Model Train exhibit, history of railroading in Nacogdoches, and others.
Located at 101 Old Tyler Road
Port Arthur Museums
Museum of the Gulf Coast
The Museum of the Gulf Coast takes an eclectic look at Southeast Texas history through the ages.
The museum boasts the largest mural in the Southwest -125-feet highlighting the region’s evolution, a replica of Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche and much more. Located at 700 Procter Street in Port Arthur.
Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum
The Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, built in 1859, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a Texas Historic Landmark.
This historic home is open for walk-in tours, while group tours, photograph sessions, meetings, and other functions must be scheduled in advance.
The home is located at 624 North Broadway just north of downtown, and is owned and operated by the City of Tyler.
Cotton Belt Depot Museum in Tyler
The Tyler Tap Railroad began operations in 1877, and later became part of the Cotton Belt Railway.
The Cotton Belt train depot in Tyler was opened in 1905.
Today, the depot is the home of the Cotton Belt Depot Museum, and the Tyler Transit offices. Included in the museum's collection are four large model train layouts, photographs, uniforms, hats, etc. that have been donated by former employees of the railroad, and friends of the depot.
The Depot Museum has received visitors from all 50 states and 38 foreign counties, and is staffed by volunteers from the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society.
Tyler Rose Museum
Established in 1952, the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the nation's largest rose garden, spanning 14 acres.
The gardens include over 38,000 rose bushes and over 600 different varieties, as well as reflecting pools, walkways and fountains.
It was listed in 2011 in Livability.com's top 10 most inspiring gardens in the USA.
The gardens are a popular destination for both local residents and for visitors, and offer a diversity of photographic opportunities.
Located adjacent to the Tyler Rose Garden is the Tyler Rose Museum, which showcases and documents the history of the annual Texas Rose Festival.
Tyler Museum of Art
The highly-respected Tyler Museum of Art, located on the campus of Tyler Junior College showcases both permanent, rotating and visiting collections.
The Museum contains two major exhibition galleries on the ground floor, the North Gallery and the Bell Gallery. There is also a library, classroom, café, and gift shop.
The museum's growing permanent collection features over 1,200 works including paintings, prints, photographs, and sculpture by artists such as James Surls, Vernon Fisher, Alexander Calder, and Charles Umlauf.
The Museum is currently engaged in the design of a much larger facility. For more information, visit the website of the Tyler Museum of Art.
Historic Aviation Memorial Museum
The Historic Aviation Memorial Museum is a large regional aviation museum located at Tyler's Pounds Regional Airport, in the old passenger terminal building.
It includes a gift shop and library, a multimedia theater room, and provides a variety of educational programs. The hangar facility provides space for an aircraft restoration area and for the flying aircraft.
Heritage Village Museum
The Heritage Village Museum is located on US Highway 190 West, and consists of a Texas pioneer village of over 30 historic buildings and structures from the mid-1800s through 1920. Various events are held there through the year.
More Museums in East Texas
East Texas is home to dozens of fascinating and worthwhile museums. Here a just a few more that are popular with residents and tourists ... but there are so many more to explore!
|Caddo Mounds State Historic Site||Alto|
|Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum||Beaumont|
|Art Museum of Southeast Texas||Beaumont|
|Sam Houston Memorial Museum||Huntsville|
|Gregg County Historical Museum||Longview|
|Longview Museum of Fine Arts||Longview|
|Texas Forestry Museum||Lufkin|
|Texas & Pacific Depot and Museum||Marshall|
|Mineola Historical Museum||Mineola|
|Museum For East Texas Culture||Palestine|
|Southwest Dairy Museum||Sulphur Springs|
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (Photo by Jamie Hudson - Travel Texas)
Museums Across Texas
There are literary hundreds of museums all across Texas, covering a wide spectrum of history and interests. Listed below are some of the prominent museums in Texas.
|Amarillo Museum of Art||Amarillo|
|Blanton Museum of Art||Austin|
|Bullock Texas State History Museum||Austin|
|Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum||Canyon|
|George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum||College Station|
|Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History||Corpus Christi|
|Dallas Museum of Art||Dallas|
|George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum||Dallas|
|Perot Museum of Nature & Science||Dallas|
|Amon Carter Museum of American Art||Fort Worth|
|Kimbell Art Museum||Fort Worth|
|Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth||Fort Worth|
|National Museum of the Pacific War||Fredericksburg|
|Museum of the American Railroad||Frisco|
|The Bryan Museum||Galveston|
|Children's Museum of Houston||Houston|
|Museum of Fine Arts||Houston|
|Houston Museum of Natural Science||Houston|
|McNay Art Museum||San Antonio|
|San Antonio Museum of Art||San Antonio|
|The Alamo||San Antonio|
|Witte Museum||San Antonio|
|Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum||Waco|
For more information, we recommend a visit to
the website of the Texas Association of Museums
Popular Travel Destinations & Vacations in Texas