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Friday, May 16, 2014

A Worthy Goal Revived: Preservation of Our Heritage

Navasota and the surrounding area has an enviable, fascinating history, yet that history has no home, and more importantly, no organized group, a cohesive team,  to protect the artifacts and champion that story. Is it time, ONCE AGAIN,  to organize what the County and the City cannot, and that is a dedicated organization to preserve and tell our story!

Forgive me for writing in bullets but I have a lot a ground to cover. I doubt anybody has the patience to read it either… AND my computer seems to be going out!

Issues at hand: The recent repurposing of the Horlock History Center- and subsequent removal of the Horlock Collection/ need for a Navasota historical organization and a place to store/ display artifacts of historical importance.

Questions to be resolved:

Fate of the Horlock Collection, now in storage/  its possible dispersal?

Do we need a history center, for research and education purposes?

Do we need a public history venue, and a responsible receptacle for objects of historical significance?

Do we have enough genuinely interested/ committed persons to supply time/ support/ funding in these needs?

Do WE want to DO something?

Should we start with a series of steps, starting with temporary measures…

( Remember: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” : Words of Mike Teske, regional liaison for National Trust for Historic Preservation)


To be brutally honest, this all goes against conventional wisdom and the trends of today. Museums, galleries, etc. are closing and going out of style, everywhere… History/ Heritage Tourism is no longer a leading factor in American tourism. Standards in museum science - held as essential in the museum industry have forced small county museums into impossible and unfeasible costs of operations which have caused many to give up and quit their missions. Any effort to establish a modern town museum must offer: proper care of artifacts, fresh, innovative exhibits, inter-active “bells & whistles” activities, and generous use of TECHNOLOGY in order to attract and entertain today’s average visitor. ARE WE UP TO THAT?

Yes,  I could do this with your help.

IF you are still reading, and can forget the failures and politics and feuds of the past, and want to discuss this… here is my strategy;

 A)    Organize. This might mean starting from scratch-  BUT it might be possible to absorb-combine with the River of Culture… which already has gone through the organization process— HOWEVER IT still lacks non-profit status I THINK… ( A group has met and formed and applied for non-profit status, soon  to be announced )

B)    Try to get the City of Navasota to retain and covey stewardship of the objects from the Horlock Collection germane to our history ( as former director of the HHC, I know the collection) and gain custody and permission to house/display them at some downtown facility. If not, I have a museum's worth of stuff myself that will need a home some day.

C)   Open and run a non-profit town museum/ interpretive center, focused on the history of Navasota and the surrounding area. Sell Navasota souvenirs, books, etc to raise funds… This must be a volunteer - based effort.

D)     Work towards a permanent solution, based on the financial and human support that might be attracted and inspired by what is done at this temporary site.

WHY? You might ask? Because a people who do not know where they have been cannot ever understand where they are going!  
Call me at my cell: (936) 825 8923 and let’s talk about these ideas… and more importantly, YOUR IDEAS!

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