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​​Historical Societies in Harris County

 

Directory Compiled by Will Howard and Janet Wagner, Members, Harris County Historical Commission

Version October 2011

 

One list provides about 75 organizations whose direct focus is on Harris County history and other broader organizations with a local chapter or headquarters here.  Some neighborhood associations are included if the residents are particularly assertive in projecting their history.  Library and archival "Friends" groups are included.

The other list contains about 20 whose focus is territorial focus is broader than just Harris County and headquartered outside Harris County. 
Most museums are backed by societies and, because the HCHC has a separate list of museums, please refer to that list as well for better coverage. 

The mere presence of a website does not constitute an organization - otherwise the list could be thousands of entries long.
Contact the HCHC for additions and changes.

 

  
  
  
  
PrimaryDesc
  
6th Cavalry Historical Association6 CAV, P.O. Box 262832  Houston, Texas 77207www.6thcav.net
“The 6th Cavalry Historical Association is a Houston, Texas based living history and MVPA associated group.  We participate in many public functions, including parades, ceremonies, and various airshows and military shows in the area.  Our members have a large variety of restored military vehicles - all the way from Jeeps and trailers to half-tracks and tanks.  We also have all kinds of military equipment, uniforms and weapons.”
Monthly meeting at Military Museum of Texas.  Collection of historical military vehicles, many operable. 
Dues $20.00.
American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter315 Capitol, Suite 120  Houston, Texas 77002 http://www.aiahouston.org/713-520-0155  713-520-5134 (fax)
Professional organization for architects and related persons.  While its interests are contemporary, it does maintain a strong interest in historical architecture of Houston.  It sponsors the Houston Architecture Guide, text by Stephen Fox.  Forums and tours are included in its activities. 
Basic dues $719.00.
Archivists of the Houston Area ( AHA ! est. 1998)http://houstonarchivists.org/
Professional organization of numerous archivists. Mission: “Archivists of the Houston Area exists to increase contact and communication among archivists and those working with records, to provide opportunities for professional development, and to promote archival repositories and activities in the greater Houston, Texas area.” Blog, newsletters, directory of members, promoter of “Archives Month,” professional skills and sources, quarterly meeting, List-serve.
Annual dues $10.00.
Atascocita - Kingwood Genealogical Society P. O. BOX 5145  Kingwood, Texas 77325-5145 http://www.texasfamilytree.com/
“The club was founded in December, 2006 by Carl T. Martin.  Formerly the Greater Harris County Family Tree Club, the society changed its name on January 14, 2009.  Mission: The Atascocita - Kingwood Genealogical Society (AKGS) mission is to instruct and provide educational opportunities for its members in genealogical research through careful analysis and documentation using quality genealogical standards.  To fulfill this mission, we hold informative monthly meetings to provide a forum for members to meet, to get to know each other and exchange information, to advance the study of family history.”  Monthly meetings except summer.
Basic dues $15.00
Bay Area Historical Society200 W Defee Ave  Baytown, Texas  77520http://tourismprod.baytown.org/History/Bay+Area+Historical+Scoeity.htm281-427-8768
Promotes public awareness of local history of the Galveston Bay area & assists museum collections.
Bay Area Genealogical Society (Clear Lake City, Texas)P.O. Box 891447  Houston, Texas 77289-1447http://www.txbayareagen.org/281-332-2435
The main purpose of the society is education.  To create, foster and maintain interest in genealogical research.   Meetings and classes are held in Clear Lake.
Baytown Genealogy Society and Library (Harris County)P.O. Box 2486  Baytown, Texas 77522-2486  5203 Decker Drive  Baytown, Texas 77520http://www.baytowngenealogyresearchlibrary.org/281-424-8388
The Baytown Society incorporates Baytown and the surrounding communities of Highlands, Anahuac, Dayton, Crosby, Wallisville, Cove, Mont Belvieu, LaPorte, Beach City and Huffman. In 1986, the Society became a non-profit corporation. Meetings are on the second Monday of month at 10:00 am at the Library. Library closed during June. Hours: Wed 10-2; Thurs 10-4; Fri 10-2
BGSlibrary@yahoo.com
Baytown Historical Preservation Association (BHPA)P.O. Box 1244  Baytown, Texas 77522-1244  5117 N. Main  Baytown, Texas 77520http://www.baytownhistory.org/281-421-2099info@baytownhistory.org
Bellaire Historical SocietyP.O. Box 854  Bellaire, Texas 77402-0854http://www.bellairehistoricalsociety.org/
“It is the purpose of the Bellaire Historical Society to preserve, maintain, restore and display designated historical landmarks, natural beauty, documents, artifacts, records of persons active in the history of the City of Bellaire and any other objects distinctive of this history; all to the end that it may be a fitting memorial to those citizens and individuals who contributed so greatly of their money, zeal and time in making the Bellaire Community a proper place to live.”
“Please Join us the Second Thursday of Each Month at the Bellaire Civic Center, 7008 South Rice Ave.  All Meetings Begin with Refreshments at 6:30 pm and the Programs Begin Promptly at 7:00 pm”
Basic dues $20.00.
info@bellairehistoricalsociety.org 
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum1834 Southmore  Houston, Texas 77004 http://www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com/713-942-8920
Located in the 3rd Ward of Houston, Texas.  Tours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on Sundays.  Groups of ten or more are $2.00 per person.
“Museum is dedicated to the brave men and women of color who courageously served in every great American War and Military Campaign.  Founded in 2000, a non-profit 501(c) (3), the museum’s historian is Dr. Franklin D. B. Jackson, a decorated Viet Nam veteran.  The Museum is available for hosting meetings, socials and other events.  The first year of operation, the Museum had 20,000 visitors.  Conducted interviews with the last Buffalo Soldiers from WWII, recognizes the 1866 creation by Congress of six all African American Army units.  Nickname began with the Cheyenne warriors in 1867; the actual Cheyenne translation was Wild Buffalo, out of respect for the fierce fighting ability of the 10th cavalry, now a generic term for all African American soldiers.”
matthews@buffalosoldiermuseum.com
Clear Lake Area Historical Society (Harris County)P O Box 24  Seabrook, Texas 77586
Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston4407 Rose Street  Houston, Texas 77007http://www.powersource.com/cherokee713-866-4085
“The purpose of the Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston is to build community, to preserve Cherokee heritage, to perpetuate the Cherokee culture, and to build the future of the Cherokee people.  Events and Traditions: monthly meetings, "Cherokee Messenger", a quarterly publication, and special events such as Cherokee language lessons, storytelling, and historical inquiry.
vhenrichs@earthlink.net 
Community Archaeology Research Institute, Inc.P.O. Box 131261  Houston, Texas 77219-1262http://www.publicarchaeology.org/CARI/
Archaeological and historical resources for community research.
mcdavid@publicarchaeology.org
Czech Heritage Society of Texas (Harris County Chapter)4117 Willowbend  Houston, Texas 77025-5706http://www.czechheritage.org/713-349-0500  866-293-2443 
Dedicated to the study and preservation of Czech genealogy, history, culture and language.  The society supports a library at the above address as well as a traveling library for functions across Texas.
Dues are $15.00.
Daughters of the Republic of Texas, San Jacinto Chapter (Houston)http://www.sanjacintodrt.org/
Descendant organization dating to the Texas Revolutionary period.  Active in organizing for “Honor Days,” maintaining the Pioneer Log House, research, and meetings, and the winter chili cook-off.
The associated Pioneer Log House is assisted by a Friends group, basic dues $25.00.  http://www.sanjacintodrt.org/friends.htm.
Descendants of Olivewoodhttp://www.descendantsofolivewood.org/
Caretakers of Olivewood Cemetery, Houston's first incorporated (1875) African-American cemetery.  Monthly clean ups, occasional tours.
Eastwood Civic Associationhttp://eastwoodcivicassociation.org/
Protectors and promoters of 1913 Eastwood sub-division and its unusual collection of architecture, including Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, Foursquare and Mission Architecture.  The Eastwood Civic Association serves the neighborhoods of Eastwood, Broadmoor, Lawndale, W.A. Kirby, Jackson Court, Woodleigh, Eastlawn, Dissen Heights, Houston City Railroad, Suburban, L.B. Moody, Beverly Park, Eastview, Hauser, Dor Ruth, Mueller, Dixie, Georgia and Youngmens.  Annual home tour.
Meets at the Cape Center on the first Monday of every month at 6:30pm.
El Lago Historical Society98 Lakeshore Drive El Lago  TX 77586http://www.ellago-tx.com/history.html281-326-1361
“The society regularly meets on the 4th Thursday of every other month at City Hall.  If you are interested in more information on ELHS, call Randy Elms, Chairman of Programs, at 281-326-1361 or El Lago City Hall at 281-326-1951, ext. 12.”
Friends of the Texas Room (est 2003)P.O. Box 27827  Houston, Texas 77227-7827http://www.friendsofthetexasroom.org/
“Our Mission: The Friends of the Texas Room seeks to support the collections of the Texas and Local History Department, the Archives and Manuscripts Department, and the Special Collections Department of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center of the Houston Public Library.”  FTR “meets four times each year.  The quarterly meetings are held on Monday evenings at the Museum of Printing History unless an alternative date and location are announced.  The Museum of Printing History is located at 1324 West Clay Street between Waugh Drive and Montrose, one block south of West Dallas.  Free parking is available in the lot across the street or in the small lot on the left, adjacent to the Museum building.”
contact@friendsofthetexasroom.org
Friends of the Clayton LibraryP.O. Box 271078  Houston, Texas 77277-1078http://www.claytonlibraryfriends.org/
“The mission of Clayton Library Friends is to enrich the resources and facilities of Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, a unit of the Houston Public Library.  In the pursuit of that mission, the officers and directors of the organization, in coordination with the manager of the Clayton Library, organize and direct fundraising projects to support the acquisition of research material for the library, to upgrade library facilities, and to enhance library services.  Since Clayton is primarily a family history and genealogical research center, an important part of the Clayton Library Friends' mission is the organization of programs that encourage family history research, provide specialized volunteer services for the library, and educate the public in the use of Clayton Library and its collection.” Basic dues $20.00.
info@claytonlibraryfriends.org 
Friends of Doherty Library (UST)http://www.stthom.edu/Library_Research/Friends_of_the_Library.aqf
“Your membership is good for one year from the date your Friends card is issued.  As a member of the Friends, you will receive: The satisfaction of supporting Doherty Library and the educational mission of the University of St. Thomas.  Your personal Doherty Library card, which provides free borrowing privileges for up to 4 books at a time from the main circulating collection.  (Interlibrary loan and special collections are not included.)  Invitations to cultural and social events sponsored by the Friends of Doherty Library.  Notification of Doherty Library's annual book sale.
Levels of Membership: Benefactor $250  Patron $100  Sponsor $50.
Friends of Fondren Library (Rice) Friends of Fondren MS-245Fondren Library / Rice University P.O. Box 1892  Houston, Texas 77251-1892http://library.rice.edu/about/departments/friends_of_fondren 713-348-5157 (phone)  713-348-5855 (fax)
“The Friends of Fondren Library is among the premier library support organizations in the nation.  Founded in 1950, we are dedicated to stimulating growth in library resources and facilities for the 21st century.  The Friends seek to heighten community and alumni interest in Fondren Library and to support academic programs at Rice University by funding library collections and facilities.”
fofl@rice.edu 
Friends of Terry Library (TSU) Friends of Robert James Terry Library FoundationP.O. Box 66427  Houston, Texas 77266-6427http://www.friendsofterrylibrary.org/713-313-1081 (phone)  713-313-1875 (fax)
Robert James Terry Library, Ste 230
3100 Cleburne St.
Houston, Texas 77004-4501
For information call: Lorenza Phillips Butler Jr., Executive Director. Dues: Student $15; TSU Faculty/Staff/Alumni $30;  Sponsor $100 - $249; Patron $250 - $499; Benefactor $500 - $999; Library Fellow $1000 - $2499; Librarians Circle $2500+
lorenzabutler@friendsofterrylibrary.org
Friendswood Historical Society108 Skyview Drive  Friendswood, Texas 77546http://www.friendswoodhistoricalsociety.org/281/482-1040
“The purpose of the Society, as stated in the By-laws, shall be: To preserve and maintain the Frank J. Brown Heritage Museum in keeping with the pioneer spirit and Christian ideals of the founding families by collecting and displaying the original artifacts and personal effects of the Frank J. Brown family and other early settlers of Friendswood, Texas.  To identify, preserve, support and display other historical buildings and sites that also reflect the heritage of the community.  To acquire and maintain a historical library and archive to preserve Friendswood's history.  To educate the membership and the community about our history through tours, lectures, seminars, printed materials and events.”
Basic membership $25.00.
Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Societyhttp://www.texsys.com/ghjgs/
To promote an interest in Jewish genealogy; encourage and instruct members in Jewish genealogical research through careful documentation and to maintain quality genealogical standards; to locate, preserve and index public and private Jewish genealogical records and make such records available to members and the general public; to assist and support any genealogical library in Texas which is open to the public; to publish genealogical and historical information in a regular newsletter or other publication as directed by the membership.  Promotes: Annual Jewish Genealogy Fair; Genealogy Essay Contest, Research Trips; Field trips. 
Monthly general and board meetings.
Membership: $18 /yr; family $20/yr and other.
Greater Houston Preservation Alliance712 Main Street, Suite 110  Houston, Texas 77002http://www.ghpa.org/713-216-5000 (phone)  713-216-2143 (fax)
“GHPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 1978.  Members include individuals, corporations and organizations.  Funding for programs and activities are provided through memberships as well as grants and individual and corporate gifts.
Our Mission: Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA) promotes the preservation and appreciation of Houston's architectural and cultural historic resources through education, advocacy and committed action, thereby creating economic value, developing a stronger sense of community.”
Basic membership is $15.00, and up.
Provides walking tours, awards, and research resources.
contact@ghpa.org 
Harris County Historical Commission

Members appointed by Harris County Judge and Commissioners.  Meets 4 times per year. 

Chairman: 2011 - 2012 Janet K. Wagner.

Activities:  Historical markers and history of Harris County.

Web site:  in development.

historical.commission@hctx.net 
Harris County Historical Society2 Hedwig Circle  Houston, Texas 77024-4519713-465-7094
200 members meet October through May (annual meeting) except January.
Activities:  Dinner meetings with history speaker. History Bus Tours.
Small membership  dues $10 and up.
Contact:   Robert “Bob” Coller
robert081523@prodigy.net
The Heritage Society – (1954) (Sam Houston Park)1100 Bagby Street Houston, TX 77002(713) 655-1912
The Heritage Society preserves the complete history of the community and region through preservation and restoration of historic structures, exhibition of historical artifacts and presentation of educational programs which focus on Houston and Harris County. Founded in 1954 by Faith Bybee, Harvin Moore and Marie Phelps in order to save the 1847 Kellum-Noble House from demolition – The goal was to preserve the hastily disappearing past of this great city for the education of future generations. The Heritage Society is the city’s only outdoor, interactive historic museum and park on 19 acres in the heart of downtown Houston. At present, ten historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905 are available for tours.
Hispanic Genealogical Society of Harris County (1983)P.O. Box 231271  Houston, Texas 77223-1271http://www.hispanicgs.com/

Club was formed to help foster knowledge, training, help, and pride in the search for Hispanic ancestors.  Data bases on families from northern Mexico, south Texas, California, and New Mexico are available to members.  Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at Loma Linda Restaurant located at 2111 Telephone Road at 6:30 pm.  Meetings discuss various projects, have a show and tell session, and a speaker with a Genealogy message.  Beginning in 1983 with 20 members, presently have 300 members world-wide from Alaska, Puerto Rico, San Francisco, Mexico City, and D.F.  Funds raised through conventions, memberships, and book sales go to purchase Hispanic Genealogy books data bases and are donated to the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, Houston, Texas.

Interactive website with family sites and data base on Camargo, Tamaulipas and links to National and International Hispanic sites.

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Historical Societies