During the 1970’s, the Gladewater Historical Society began collecting articles and preparing to publish the history of Gladewater. Two books, Gladewater, Texas 1873-1973 and Gladewater, Texas Bicentennial Edition 1976, told the story of Gladewater and the courageous families who settled the area. Many of the exhibits in the museum are based on the information and pictures found in these books.
The Gladewater Historical Society was chartered as a non-profit educational association in 1987 to preserve and interpret the history of the Gladewater area. At this time, the large floor-to-ceiling cabinets that are now used for exhibit space were purchased. The story is told that these cabinets were installed in Day Drug during the1920’s. Since the Historical Society had no building, these huge cabinets were stored in several locations before coming home to 116 W. Pacific. Eventually the name of the society was changed to Gladewater Museum Association.
The museum is now located in the building known as the Ellen Bauman Community Building. It was built in 1939 during the Art Deco Period. Doc Shepperd was the Gregg County Commissioner at the time of the building’s completion. The building was used for county offices and a library downstairs. The second floor was used by various community organizations for meetings and social gatherings. The library moved to a new home in 1973. Since that time, the building has been used by various community groups.
The unique design of the building makes it an ideal home for a museum that tells the rich history of the city and the people who built it. On Friday, November 4, 2005, The East Texas Museum at Gladewater held a ribbon cutting officially opening the museum. On Saturday, November 5 th at 10:00 a.m., the museum finally opened to the public. It is now open on Saturdays from 10:00 until 4:00, except for the last two weeks of the year—depending on the holidays. At present, the museum is totally staffed with volunteers.
The grand opening featured the “James G. Hineman Collection” which includes one of the largest collections of rooster memorabilia. Other Hineman collections include a large variety of cigarette memorabilia, an outstanding representation of wash boards, oil lamps and lanterns and vintage music.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 12:00pm Central Time
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 12:00pm Central Time
Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 10:00am Eastern Time
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