Burton Cotton Gin And Museum

307 North Main
Burton, TX 77835


Vision: What We're Committed To

To operate a fully accredited museum program that interprets life in an historic Texas cotton town in ways that build local pride and ownership.

Mission: What's Our Business

To create an interpretive museum complex that will preserve the era when Burton was a farm town and the Burton Farmers' Gin was a central part of community life.

Values: What We Believe

We believe that the museum complex is unequaled in the nation as the best remaining example of an early, automated systems gin still in its original historic setting. The gin and other buildings and artifacts in the collection are largely in their last-used condition and comprise one of only a few such intact rural industrial sites in the country. The archival records of the gin offer an unparalleled case study of the construction, modification and continual operation of a cotton gin over a sixty-year period. The significance of the site has been recognized by numerous governmental and professional organizations.

Over 4,000 gins operated in Texas in 1925 when the Bessemer engine was installed in the Burton Farmers' Gin. Now the Burton gin stands as the lone remaining, fully operational example of the once ubiquitous cotton gin. Gins served as the hub of community life in thousands of cotton towns across the nation's then leading cotton-producing state. We believe preserving the gin and surrounding historic town setting provides an authentic experience for present and future generations to learn about the great changes that took place as cotton farming was mechanized.

The museum collections can provide an active and vital setting in which to explore the vernacular mechanical achievements of typical local users and adapters of mass-produced machines, engines, tools, and vehicles during the first two thirds of the twentieth century. The setting of Burton, Texas, in Washington County, also offers an outstanding opportunity to compare the changes that accompanied mechanization amongst German-, English-, Czech-, and African-American cotton farmers. There are also rich resources within the county for comparison of historic river-bottom plantations verses the diversified small farms of the Burton area. This area recorded more small farms later than any other area of Texas. The endurance of older ways of farming into recent memory allows for very thorough documentation of farm mechanization and the end of cotton production in the area.

We have adopted a policy of full disclosure of the organization's records and activities. We will seek ways to involve the community in the planning and operation of the museum complex. We are committed to managing the resources of this non-profit corporation in a business-like way that will insure the preservation of the collections while serving as a catalyst to economic growth for the community.

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