The Heritage Museum of Montgomery County, at the moment, is composed of four themed Galleries of Montgomery County history and the people, places and events that made it what it is today. Current galleries are Glimpses of Montgomery County, Towns, People & Events, a Discovery Room or Hands-On Children’s Room and an entire room of the various mediums of Mark C. Clapham Art Gallery. Whether your interests lie in the land and the oil under it or the flag that flies over it, there are exhibits that will be interesting to you. If you are interested in art, Black History, Texas flag history or antique telephone equipment, there are exhibits that will appeal to you. If there are young ones in your family, the Children’s room will take them, and you, way back to a simpler time. At the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County, our roots run far into the future, with plans for new buildings and exhibits well under way.
Gallery I, Glimpses of Montgomery County
Gallery I, Glimpses of Montgomery County, features a timeline chronicling the area's entire history, from prehistoric times to the building of Lake Conroe and The Woodlands in the late 1970's. Learn about the beginnings of Conroe and Willis and how the George W. Strake gusher changed the entire future of Montgomery County. An important feature of the Museum is a replica of the office of Dr. Charles B. Stewart, a local resident who served as the first Secretary of State to the Republic of Texas. Dr. Stewart designed the state flag and seal and created original maps of the county. The flag later became the official "Lone Star" flag in 1845 when Texas joined the Union. In May 1997, the Texas Legislature proclaimed Montgomery County as the Birthplace of the Lone Star flag.
Gallery II, Towns, People & Events
Gallery II, Towns, People & Events, honors those who have impacted the county and distinguishes some of the first events for the area, such as the first county fair, the first telephone, etc. The Black History exhibit showcases Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the World. Come see how today’s Montgomery County is a fraction of the size of the original.
Gallery III, is Discovery Room designed by the Conroe Service League. Here children can explore a log cabin and a turn- of- the- century general store. There is “old-timey” clothing to try on, a period general store for pretend shopping and the opportunity to be a mercantile shop keeper with a working antique cash register. The log cabin provides insight into the past and the much simpler, though not necessarily easier, life in the typical pioneer home. The items on display in the home and store will awaken a whole new world of the history of the times, clothing and conveniences and offer a brief escape from the modern day technology of today.
Gallery IV, Mark C. Clapham Art Gallery
Gallery IV, the Mark C. Clapham Art Gallery. This exhibit consists of a comprehensive collection of paintings, drawing and sculptures that were the life work of the renowned Texas painter and Sculptor, Mark Clapham. Mark was born in California in 1948, but made Conroe, TX his home for the last 40 years of his life. He loved the area so much that, upon his death in 2012, he wanted the contents of his studio and many of his remaining artwork to be available at the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County for the enjoyment of the community. A considerable number of of his paintings, sculptures and collected artifacts are on display, along with the sole remaining picture that he drew as a child. Honoring his distant Chickasaw Indian heritage, Mark devoted his many talents to the heritage and culture of Native Americans. The winner of many prestigious awards, you may recognize Mark’s work on the mural that spans SH 105, downtown Conroe, TX, between the courthouse buildings. The rest of his public works can be seen at the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County.
The Heritage Museum of Montgomery County will hold a Fundraiser in Feburary 2018 - More details will be forthcoming shortly with information about his award winning paintings, prints, and sculptures.
Hallway – Video History
The Museum also offers a research room complete with videos of Astronaut Robert (Bob) L. Crippen’s space flights, oral histories of long-time county residents (See Video History Page), traveling exhibitions for schools and organizations to enjoy, a unique gift shop and several outdoor exhibits depicting the history of Montgomery County.
We are particularly proud of our lighted flying Pegasus, thanks to the generosity of donor, William (Bill) C. Conroe and his family along with a grant from the City of Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau for relocation and restoration. Other interesting outdoor exhibits include a train, an antique tractor, a vintage cannon, a real “peckerwood” sawmill, a trough, an oil rig, a bronze bust of “Joe Roughneck” and recently an Antique Fire Extinguisher from the Conroe Oilfield donated by Danbury Resources. There is always something interesting to see at the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County!
Jack Shepherd, local historian and airplane aficionado, provided his collection for the exhibit, which includes: 32 Model Airplanes, 12 Books, 72 Storyboards and 4 Bullets.
Jim Ulrich, local CPA, has offered four of his prized photos for display which include:
Astronaut Joe Allen drinking orange juice in space, Astronaut Bruce McCandless, developing a suit UU2 (Untethered in Space), the first Astronaut Untethered in space, Apollo 15 with Commander Dave Scott and Astronauts Jim Irwin and Al Worden taking the first drive on the moon, Astronauts Vance Brand and William Lenoir in their space suits in the capsule.
Robert (Bob) L. Crippen, local Astronaut and former New Caney resident, provided a portion of his space memorabilia which include: a photo of the Apollo IV launch autographed for the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County by Bob Crippen, 6 color pictures 8” x 12” of Space Gemini 11 and Apollo 1981, a heavy metal bolt mounted on wood from the launching pad with tile from the 1st Columbia Flight still connected (the spacecraft held the bolt down until the launch and then would break when the shuttle was launched), two survival kits from training equipment when Crippen was in the Navy, a khaki colored outer garment which held tools for the Astronauts, a gold 2 piece Skylab jumpsuit worn during the 50 day Medical Experimental Altitude Test at NASA, and a gold framed space picture with fellow Astronauts (Mission STS 99).