On May 16, the commission is holding a preview event and fundraiser with the museum’s architects at the McMullen County Community Center at 5:30 p.m. Chris Frison of D/G Studios will present the building’s design and features. D/G Studios previously designed Fredericksburg’s National Museum of the Pacific War.
Randy Stehling of Stehling•Klein•Architects will also be there to discuss how the materials were chosen to reflect McMullen County and the surrounding area.
“Our goal is to keep it as true to the area as possible,” McMullen County Historical Commission Chair Jayne Varga said. “We didn’t want it to look like Houston or Corpus; we want it to look like this area.”
Varga said the museum will have interactive displays and a historical photo wall featuring regional families, agriculture and oil development. There also will be an indoor recreation of old main street Tilden.
The museum will also have a chuck wagon, local artifacts and a family research room with computers and books filled with local history.
Current plans are for the museum to be located kitty-corner from the courthouse in Tilden. Varga said the items on display in the current museum will be moved into the new one, and the old one will be used for artifacts less susceptible to damage such as saddles since the current museum is over 100 years old and in need of repairs.
“It’s (the plans) changed tremendously. We started with a small two-story building to a 2,000-square-foot single story that’s being designed by professional architects and designers to reflect the true history of the area,” Vargas said. “It’s going to be a state-of-the-art building.”
The $100,000 raised so far was all done within the last year and completely by private donations, according to Vargas. Once the museum is complete it will be open to the public and for school trips.
“Progress has been slow and steady,” Vargas said. “But hopefully after this preview event everyone will be just as excited as we are to bring it to fruition.”
For more information about the museum, the preview fundraiser or to make a donation, call Vargas at 274-3341.