The creation of the Humble Museum came about from the City of Humble’s Bicentennial Celebration, honoring the 200th anniversary of the United States. While there were three committees coordinating the Bicentennial Celebration, the Horizons committee ended up being most involved with the establishment of the museum. The committee coordinated with the Humble Area Chamber of Commerce, merchants and many individuals to build a museum on city property, including raising funds and accepting donations of artifacts. As a result, the keys to the new Humble Bicentennial Museum were given to Mayor Haden McKay on July 1, 1976. That original, small brick building still stands. It is on Higgins Street, next to the Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce building.
The Horizons committee organized the Humble Museum Society to oversee operations of the museum. The first president of the board was Dr. Al Moore. For 10 years, many organizations helped the museum grow by hosting fundraisers, including Hi Neighbors, school faculties, the Kingwood Garden Club, the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and many more. Eventually, this small building became too cramped to hold the growing collection of Humble historical artifacts.
In 1986, the board of directors purchased the old Centel Telephone building on Main Street. It had much more space than their current building, but it needed some work. On Sept. 25, 1988, after two years of renovations, the new Humble Museum opened at 219 Main Street. Former Chamber Executive Director Jerry Eversole was the master of ceremonies for the dedication ceremony, while speeches were given by Humble Mayor Haden McKay, Judge Ted Poe and Moore.
The museum supporters were happy to be located on Main Street, hoping to take advantage of more visitors through the foot traffic of Main Street shoppers. In that time the museum was heavily involved in city and local events, and they continued to work on acquiring more artifacts to display. Many dedicated people stepped up to handle operations and coordinate events for the museum. However, as the years progressed, the foot traffic on Main Street slowed. Fewer people were visiting the museum and fewer people were becoming involved in museum operations. The museum began a slow decline that could eventually lead to its demise.
A few years ago, some things started to change. The museum’s board of directors began work to start the museum down a new path. It had spent years strictly guarding the printing of their pictures. Now, they published a “picture” book on Humble (“Images of America: Humble”) to raise funds for the museum. They improved exhibits to attract new visitors, and they started plans on how to involve more people in the museum’s operations.
Then … tragedy struck. The building was damaged in Hurricane Harvey, and all their new plans ground to a halt. Fortunately, their benefactor, the City of Humble, came to the rescue. Three years later, a new museum is about to open. No longer dependent on slow foot traffic on Main Street, the museum will now use events at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center to make people aware of its existence. The new museum will feature an entire rebuild of all the exhibits. A new organization, the Humble Museum Foundation, will help it thrive and supervise their new support group, the Friends of the Humble Museum.
The Humble Museum is starting a new path that will help it thrive for years to come! I hope you will join me for Opening Day. In the meantime, keep up with our progress at HumbleMuseum.com.