History

Where to Go to Learn About Texas History and Texans

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Interested in Texas history or the wonderful things that make Texans unique? Visit any of the great museums in the Texas Hill Country for distinctive views of Texana. From weird and wacky to inspiring and historic, museums in Texas reflect many different perspectives of this state’s past.

1. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Bullock Texas History Museum

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Bullock Texas State History Museum, located on the University of Texas campus in Austin, is the official exhibition site for Texas history. If you want an overview of Texas history, this should be one of your must-visit stops during your explorations of the Hill Country. You will find three stories of exhibits that tell the story of the state from its first inhabitants to today. Special exhibits regularly visit and leave, so you may see something different every time you go to this museum.

2. Frontier Times Museum

Entrance to Frontier Times Museum in Bandera

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Is your idea of Texas history curios and cowboys? Visit the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, Texas Cowboy Capital of the World. The founder of the museum collected curios from locals to build the foundation of the Frontier Times Museum. Later, a new owner contributed his collection of western paintings and art, in the now Doane Gallery portion of the museum. Even the building itself is steeped in Texas history. Builders incorporated fossils, arrowheads, and petrified wood into the walls of the museum. You won’t encounter anything like this site anywhere else.

3. Pioneer Museum and Village

Sign for Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Fredericksburg’s Pioneer Museum and Village offers visitors a glimpse into the past of those who first colonized Texas. This museum seeks to preserve the lifestyle of those first German immigrants who founded Fredericksburg. Covering three acres of Uptown, this museum offers visitors a chance to see replicas of the original buildings the pioneers constructed. Plan for at least an hour to visit the museum, and stay in the area for the art galleries and eateries.

4. Falls on the Colorado Museum

Falls on the Colorado Museum

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Near Marble Falls, visit the Falls on the Colorado Museum. Founded by a pair of local historians, this museum began exhibiting to the public in 2004. Since then, it has expanded to its current, larger location. It seeks to preserve and display Texas history as it occurred along the Colorado River. If you want a localized look at the history of the state and its people, add this museum to your list.

5. The Calaboose African American History Museum

Calaboose African American History Museum in San Marcos

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It wasn’t just those of European descent who built the Texas Hill Country. Learn about how African Americans shaped Texas at the Calaboose African American History Museum in San Marcos. It gets its unusual name from the building, which originally served as the town jail. Calaboose comes from the Spanish word for a local jail. When the city no longer needed it as a jail, the site became a recreation center, that supported World War II African American troops as a USO. Today, it houses a collection of materials that preserves and shares the experiences of African Americans in Hays County and San Marcos. Stop by on Saturdays when the museum opens its doors to the public.

5. The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country

Dinosaur tracks at The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country in Canyon Lake

Photo: Facebook/The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country

Do you want to learn about Texas Hill Country residents who lived here long before humans? The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country near Canyon Lake includes dinosaur tracks on the grounds and more prehistoric paraphernalia inside. The museum also includes exhibits about Native Americans of the Texas Hill Country, antiques used by former residents of the area and old farm equipment. All these exhibits help visitors to get a glimpse of daily life in various periods throughout Texas history.