Situated at 200 Martin Luther King Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666, the Calaboose African American Museum is a must-see for anyone with interest in history. The building that once served as the county jail and now houses this museum has letters, photos, documents from throughout Texas’ black community past–allowing you insight into their daily lives as well. The Calaboose African American Museum is a place of learning and reflection, where you can see letters from bygone days and some photos that show how African Americans have shaped this state.
This building is more than just a historic landmark; it’s also an essential part of San Marcos’ history. The city acquired this structure in 1885 and turned the space into what we know today as one large community recreation center after acquiring new facilities for their county jail elsewhere on site.
When the Calaboose was first built, it served as a jail for civilians. But in later years, this humble building would come to be known far and wide – not just because of its rough exterior but also due to what happened inside: during World War II, United Service Organization (USO) center where African American service members could hang out while waiting on base or off duty; otherwise segregation kept them away from mingling with white soldiers.
The contributions of local African American historian Johnnie Armstead to preserve her home are unparalleled. She was responsible for raising money, creating the museum that includes most artifacts found at this site, and leading efforts that resulted in Recorded Texas Historic Landmark designation on a building where many events occurred during slavery times.
The Calaboose Museum has a number of permanent and temporary displays, but one of the primary highlights is an extensive collection owned by jazz musician Eddie Durham. Tours can be arranged Monday-Friday where you’ll learn about his life through items such as music awards he won in high school or photos from when they were dating women’s basketball teams back then. It also opens up on public Saturdays between 10 am – 2 pm, so anyone interested may visit this wonderful place without any reservations needed.
The Calaboose Museum is home to African American history and culture in San Marcos, TX. Through the preservation of artifacts from the past to educational programs offered every week, this museum strives to serve as an exhibit on black folkloric traditions and provide support within our community with events going down throughout the year.
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