May
17
to Aug 4

Dumped and Forgotten Below the Milam Street Bridge

Admission: $5 for adults, $2 children 5–18

In the summer of 1968, a local archeologist organized an excavation of Buffalo Bayou near the Milam Street Bridge in the hopes of recovering long forgotten Civil War artifacts. After the war ended in 1865, munitions, once housed at the Kennedy building located at Travis and Congress, were dumped into the bayou. The disposal of the weaponry was part of a broader effort to deprive the approaching Union forces of the equipment and supplies of the Confederacy.  Barges loaded with rifles and cannon balls were driven up stream to the low water bridge at Milam Street and sunk.

This amazing, never-before exhibited archeology collection has received new life with modern conservation treatments and has been researched by experts in munitions. The result of this year-long project is to educate visitors about Houston’s role as a port city in the Civil War, to discover what happened to these artifacts once abandoned in the bayou, and to learn about the techniques used to conserve artifacts left underwater for decades.

View Event →
Noon Lecture Series
Jun
21
12:00 PM12:00

Noon Lecture Series

Re-examining Confederate Monuments in Texas
by Ron Goodwin

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

A discussion of Confederate monuments as symbols that continue to divide our country. Dr. Ron Goodwin of Prairie View A&M University explores the Lost Cause mythology behind these statues and the groups who erected them. While these monuments may honor individuals who possessed characteristics of honor and loyalty in the eyes of some, they continue to be a constant reminder of the efforts to protect slavery and the damage done to political and social institutions in the views of others.

View Event →
Noon Lecture
Jul
19
12:00 PM12:00

Noon Lecture

Texas, the Anaconda, and the Milam Street Blockade Runner
by Andy Hall

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

During the American Civil War, Texas played an increasingly important role in the smuggling of materials in and out of the Confederacy. Hall will discuss the important role Houstonians played in that, and made fortunes that served as a foundation of legacies remain woven into the community's fabric today. But did a blockade runner REALLY make it all the way up past Allen's Landing?

 

View Event →
South and North of the Border: Houston Paints Houston
Aug
16
to Nov 24

South and North of the Border: Houston Paints Houston

Guest Curators: Tam Kiehnhoff and Randy Tibbits

Admission: $5 for adults, $2 children 5–18

In October 1894, James Perkins Richardson wrote from Galveston to his sister, Emma Richardson Cherry, then living in Denver, to discourage her from relocating to a “mud-hole called Houston.”  At the time, Houston was a town of barely 30,000 people; Richardson was a recent Yale graduate who would one day found the prestigious Prosso Preparatory School in the city; and Cherry was a professional artist who would almost singlehandedly lay the foundation of the vibrant art center that Houston would become. Barely 70 years later, by the 1960s, the population of the city had grown 30 fold, and Houston was known worldwide as “Space City.”   Mud-hole to Space City in a single lifetime: What a trajectory.  And what a revolution in visioning the city such a transformation required.

Showing that re-visioning through the eyes and works of Houston’s own artists is the goal of the exhibition Houston Paints Houston.  It is our hope that by bringing together, from public and private collections, more than 60 works created over more than 130 years, we can help present-day Houstonians better understand how the vision of the city evolved, and helped create the modern city in which we live.

This exhibition is half of a joint project with the umbrella title South and North of the Border, to be mounted in conjunction with the Ideson Gallery of Houston Public Library, where Houston Paints Mexico will explore how our artists helped create our understanding of our closest, and in many ways, most important neighbor.  The two shows together are corner stones of the Festival of Earlier Houston Art taking place in institutions and galleries all over Houston during the fall of 2018.

View Event →

Noon Lecture Series
May
17
12:00 PM12:00

Noon Lecture Series

Convict Cowboys: Texas Prison Rodeo
by Mitchel Roth

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

Convict Cowboys is the tale of the nation’s first prison rodeo, which ran from 1931 to 1986. At its apogee the Texas Prison Rodeo drew 30,000 spectators on October Sundays. Mitchel P. Roth portrays the Texas Prison Rodeo against a backdrop of Texas history, covering the history of rodeo, the prison system, and convict leasing, as well as important figures in Texas penology including Marshall Lee Simmons, O.B. Ellis, and George J. Beto, and the changing prison demimonde.

Over the years, the rodeo arena not only boasted death-defying entertainment that would make professional cowboys think twice, but featured a virtual who’s who of American popular culture, including Western film stars ranging from Tom Mix to John Wayne, and music legends such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Through extensive archival research, Roth introduces the convict cowboys in both the rodeo arena and behind prison walls, giving voice to a legion of previously forgotten inmate cowboys who risked life and limb for a few dollars and the applause of free-world crowds.

View Event →
Noon Lecture Series
Apr
19
12:00 PM12:00

Noon Lecture Series

The Houston Airport Turns 90
by Michael Bludworth

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

Incensed by being passed over for an Air Mail route, by Dallas of all places, the Houston business community worked together to produce a facility that could accommodate the mail. They succeeded on the anniversary of Texas Independence Day in 1928 when Houston saw the arrival of the Air Mail Service and the formal opening of Houston Airport. It was four years after the intrepid pilots began regular cross-country through service. Bludworth’s lecture is filled with amazing photos of airport construction and the fantastic flying machines that plied Bayou City skies. The city officially took it over in 1937, and it is still in operation 90 years later.

View Event →
See Interesting Places (SIP) Series
Apr
5
6:30 PM18:30

See Interesting Places (SIP) Series

$45 for members/$50 for non-member

Visit two homes in Old Sixth Ward followed by drinks and discussion at Julep.

The Steamboat House where neighborhood lore has it that the legendary aviatress, Amelia Earhart, regularly visited her uncle who lived in the house.

AND This ell-wing Folk Victorian cottage which was built in 1893. The floors in the front room are antique mahogany, salvaged from a historic River Oaks mansion plus a collection of art glass lighting, door hardware, pulls and hinges which are all antique.

To purchase tickets

View Event →
Noon Lecture Series
Mar
15
12:00 PM12:00

Noon Lecture Series

Photos and Stories from the Chronicle & Post Archives
by JR Gonzales from Bayou City History at the Houston Chronicle

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

JR Gonzales, master of the Bayou City History domain at the Houston Chronicle, will share rarely seen photos from the image archives at the Chronicle and the old Houston Post. They will include stories large and small about a random and wide variety of people and places from our city’s past. Every day for almost a century, these newspapers sent photographers out to capture images of Houston. Getting a glimpse inside this material is a rare treat for both the hard core and casual devotee of the city’s past.

View Event →
Mar
7
to Apr 28

A View from the Trenches: The Oberwetter World War I Collection

The exhibit will consist of up to 100 photographs and letters telling the story of Austin Oberwetter’s service in WWI.  His family has a long history in Texas and he thoroughly documented his service as an engineer in the military where he stated that he was tasked with building things “only to be destroyed by the war.” The collection also includes his letters home.

View Event →
See Interesting Places (SIP) Series
Jan
24
6:30 PM18:30

See Interesting Places (SIP) Series

$45 for members/$50 for non-members

Originally a grocery store, a clinic for the soldiers at Camp Logan, a liquor store, and finally a home to a homeless man that collected junk. During restoration as a home for a business, it was discovered the building was built on cobblestones, on top of the cistern that held the water for the City of Houston. Join us for this SIP and hear the fascinating stories of the renovation.

To purchase tickets

View Event →
Jan
13
9:30 AM09:30

Volunteer Training

The Heritage Society Tea Room

The Heritage Society, Houston’s go-to place for history, is offering new opportunities to become THS volunteer docents. It is a perfect fit for those interested in our city’s past or looking to learn more. A new series of training classes will be offered beginning on Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 9:30 AM until 4:00 PM in The Heritage Society Tea Room at 1100 Bagby downtown. Free parking will be available in the THS lot immediately behind the historic Kellum-Noble house between inbound Allen Parkway and Clay. For more information contact Sheryl Tyler at styler@heritagesociety.org

View Event →
See Interesting Places (SIP) Series
Nov
16
6:30 PM18:30

See Interesting Places (SIP) Series

$45 THS member/$50 non-members
Explore this award winning office building in downtown Houston as you "sip" with The Heritage Society on Thursday, November 16. Designed in 1929 by renowned architect Joseph Finger, the Italian Renaissance Revival style building boasts a rooftop terrace and lovingly restored private getaway that you won't want to miss seeing. 

View Event →
Finger Lecture
Nov
16
12:00 PM12:00

Finger Lecture

Houston in 1917
by Mike Vance

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

With Houston in 1917, you will learn much of what to expect if you ever time travel back 100 years in the Bayou City. There will be images and details about who lived here, what they did for work and even where they shopped. The lecture ends with the real story about the biggest event of 1917- the Camp Logan Riot.

View Event →
Port of Plenty
Nov
9
6:30 PM18:30

Port of Plenty

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Admission is free but seating is limited
Please RSVP at 713.655.1912, ext 102

Houston has a ship channel through which many goods and goodies arrive. Spices. Candy. Cheeses. Wine! Family food businesses use the ship channel to import all kinds of yummy and exotic comestibles. Come prepared to nibble and sip the global bounty.

View Event →
See Interesting Places (SIP) Series
Oct
12
6:30 PM18:30

See Interesting Places (SIP) Series

$45 THS member/$50 non-members
1931 River Oaks Home with a Notorious Past

Join us on Thursday, October 12 at a legendary home located in the heart of River Oaks. This 1931 Colonial house designed by architect Preston Bolton was just another lovely home until its second owner added on a very musical addition in 1968. There was no shortage of money or intrigue at this house during the 1960s.

Purchase tickets here.

View Event →
By Bread Alone
Oct
5
6:30 PM18:30

By Bread Alone

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Admission is free but seating is limited
Please RSVP at 713.655.1912, ext 102

Three bakers, three traditions, featuring numerous varieties of ornamental bread, talk commerce, culture and keeping the artistry alive in the family. Enjoy demonstrations of skill and virtuosity and fresh, doughy edibles, both savory and sweet.

View Event →
Food & Family: A Houston Journey
Sep
28
to Jan 27

Food & Family: A Houston Journey

The Heritage Society Museum Gallery
Admission is free

Houston has become known as a food mecca, but its roots/routes are drawn directly from its diverse communities. Food & Family will explore the supporting role each of these domains – food and family – play in enhancing the significance of the other. After all, family is the elemental unit of human social life and food is the essential component of not just its survival, but its capacity to thrive.

View Event →
Finger Lecture Series
Sep
21
12:00 PM12:00

Finger Lecture Series

Happy Hollow: Emergency Salvage Archeology Project in Houston's Historic Red Light District
by Linda Gorski

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

For three short days at the end of January 2016 Texas Historical Commission Archeological Stewards from Harris County and members of the Houston Archeological Society participated in an emergency salvage archeology shovel testing project at a unique site in downtown Houston, Texas. 

These historic buildings in the 500 block of Louisiana Avenue were built in 1907 and replaced earlier structures on the lots that were originally “female boarding houses” – aka brothels.  The shovel testing revealed early cisterns, brick and concrete piers that supported the pier and beam building, an historic gulley and a privy. Approximately 1100 artifacts were recovered including many complete bottles that originally contained female medications and tonics providing clues as to what was going on at the site in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and  lending credence to the site’s original name – “Happy Hollow”!  This presentation will present the history of an early red light district in Houston through artifacts recovered at the site.

View Event →
SOLD OUT-San Jacinto Premiere
Sep
16
6:00 PM18:00

SOLD OUT-San Jacinto Premiere

The Heritage Society Tea Room
1100 Bagby Street
Houston, TX 77002
Tickets $10 

The Heritage Society will hold the premiere screening for San Jacinto, the latest title in the award-winning Birth of Texas Series, on Saturday, September 16 from 6:00 to 7:30 in the Tea Room. It is the seventh completed film in the eight part series. Previous titles have aired on select Texas PBS stations including Houston’s own Channel 8. The films have also aired on HISD TV and are in use in over 80 school districts across the state.

 Your ticket price helps fund the final title in the Birth of Texas Documentary Series. Attendees will see approximately an hour of the two hour and 45 minute documentary followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. Other Texas historians featured in the film may also be in attendance. Reservations are required. For more information email mvance@heritagesociety.org. To purchase tickets, please use the link below.

Funding for San Jacinto was provided by the Texas Historical Foundation. Additional Birth of Texas Series funding was provided by the Brown Foundation, Strake Foundation, Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation and Humanities Texas, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

San Jacinto Premiere
10.00
Add To Cart
View Event →
CANCELED - Old Recipes for a New Year: Celebrating Rosh Hashanah
Sep
14
6:30 PM18:30

CANCELED - Old Recipes for a New Year: Celebrating Rosh Hashanah

The Houston Arts Alliance Folklife + Civic Engagement, The Heritage Society and the Houston History Alliance regret that this program is a canceled due to circumstances related to Hurricane Harvey.  

Mark your calendar for the upcoming exhibition  Food & Family, which runs from September 28, 2017 to January 27, 2018 in The Heritage Society Museum.  Join us for the opening reception on September 28 from 6:30-8pm. 

Food & Family is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Houston Endowment and the City of Housron through the Houston Arts Alliance.

View Event →
Aug
17
12:00 PM12:00

Finger Lecture Series

Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of Texas
by Andrew J. Torget

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

Andrew J. Torget, historian and professor at the University of North Texas, will give a lecture based on his new book, Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas BorderlandsSeeds of Empire tells the remarkable story of how the cotton revolution of the early nineteenth century transformed northeastern Mexico into the western edge of the United States, and how the rise and spectacular collapse of the Republic of Texas as a nation built on cotton and slavery proved to be a blueprint for the Confederacy of the 1860s.

Andrew J. Torget is a historian of nineteenth-century North America at the University of North Texas, where he directs a digital humanities lab. A veteran of pioneering work in digital scholarship, he has been a featured speaker at Harvard, Stanford, Rice, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and the Library of Congress. In 2011, he was named the inaugural David J. Weber Research Fellow at the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. His most recent book, Seeds of Empire, won eleven book prizes and awards.

View Event →
Finger Lecture Series
Jul
20
12:00 PM12:00

Finger Lecture Series

Fourth Ward Cottage: a building too significant not to have been saved
by Randy Pace

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

Randy Pace, author, historian and genealogist will make a presentation about the history and occupants of the Fourth Ward Cottage. The story of the cottage coming to The Heritage Society in Sam Houston Park began way back in the 1970s, and Pace considers researching its history and spearheading the coalition which ultimately led to its preservation as his most important, personal achievement. Small buildings, such as the Fourth Ward Cottage, have just as much significance and importance associated with their architecture and occupants as larger, more imposing ones. And while the captains of industry and commerce, who built the grand, impressive edifices of Houston achieved much, their successes were so dependent upon the contribution and sacrifices of thousands of working-class men and women. These unsung heroes built and occupied modest, but important dwellings, such as the Fourth Ward Cottage.

View Event →
Jul
5
to Sep 9

The Great Migration

The Heritage Society Museum Gallery
Admission if free

The exhibition will feature original projects by students that help to illustrate the story of The Great Migration (1917-1970) of more than six million African Americans out of the South to other regions of the United States. The migration is one of the most important, courageous, and consequential movements in our nation’s history. In search of true freedom, equality, and opportunity, those brave migrants – fleeing systemic racism, abuse, oppression, enforced poverty, and terror – transformed American culture, society, demographics, and politics in a multitude of ways, both tangible and intangible.  African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian Americans also migrated to Houston from other regions, making our city the most diverse in the nation. 

This exhibit is Guest Curated by University of Houston Honors College Students with Professors Debbie Harwell & Irene Guenther. The Heritage Society is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

View Event →
Finger Lecture Series
Jun
15
12:00 PM12:00

Finger Lecture Series

Trammel's Trace: The First road to Texas from the North
by Gary Pinkerton

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

Trammel’s Trace was the earliest route for immigration to Texas years well before the Texas Revolution. For families with ancestors who migrated to Texas from Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas it is likely that this was their route. The trail is named for Nicholas Trammell, a horse smuggler, tavern and gambling house operator, and an owner of horses for racing. 

Gary’s passion for learning about Trammel’s Trace has resulted in a book published by Texas A&M University Press titled Trammel’s Trace: The First Road to Texas from the North. His book fills a broad gap for researchers and genealogists and focuses on early borderlands history in east Texas. In addition to his historical research, Gary and other “rut nuts” continue to work on locating and mapping its remaining pathways. 

View Event →
Building Arts Lecture
May
24
7:00 PM19:00

Building Arts Lecture

Hurricanes, Homes, and History in Galveston
by Hal Needham, Ph.D, Galveston Historical Foundation

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

Galveston, a city rich in historic resources, has a long record of destructive hurricanes that have had enormous impact on its built environment. In response, the city has attempted major interventions to protect against future damage. One of the most visible interventions is the raising of Galveston’s grade level as much as 17 feet following the 1900 hurricane. As the Director of Galveston Historical Foundation’s Center for Coastal Heritage, Dr. Hal Needham is completing research on the grade raising and other impacts of storms on Galveston’s built environment. For this Building Arts Lecture, Dr. Needham will discuss what he has learned, including new discoveries and then-and-now images from the 1900 hurricane and grade raising.

This lecture is in conjunction with the exhibit Tropical [Im]pression: A Gulf Coast Hurricane Retrospective, which will include souvenirs and other artifacts from Galveston at the time of the 1900 storm. The Museum Gallery will be open until 8:00 PM. Museum Gallery admission is free.

View Event →
May
24
5:00 PM17:00

Wine Wednesdays

The Heritage Society Front Patio
Admission is free

Wine Wednesdays are back at The Heritage Society! Starting April 5th, relax and take a break from the traffic on our shady patio with food and drink from Phoenicia. Mix and mingle, visit our Museum Gallery and get a taste of Houston history.

View Event →
Finger Lecture Series
May
18
12:00 PM12:00

Finger Lecture Series

Archeology Sites Along Buffalo Bayou
by Louis Aulbach

The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members

This presentation will focus on a number of the remnants of historical structures and archeological remains along Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston. Each site provides an insight into the remarkable story of the Bayou City.

View Event →