The McAllen Heritage Center, Inc. – Museum of history & culture
The McAllen Centennial festivities held in 2004 included a festival held at Archer Park and dinner gala in celebration of McAllen's 100 years of history. Due to the success of these events, Centennial committee members began discussions towards developing a place for the community to enjoy learning about McAllen's past. (MHC) was formed in early 2006 as a not-for-profit corporation for this purpose with a founding board comprised of a core of Centennial committee members.
The museum base collection was the result of the McAllen Old-timer’s Clubs memorial contribution to MHC on behalf of Helen Snider, a member of the club who passed away before her dream of establishing the museum came to fruition. Her diligent acquisition and preservation of historical items assisted the MHC in developing a foundation of exhibit materials. The McAllen Centennial Committee also made a generous monetary contribution towards the creation of the center. When MHC founding President, Rick De Julio lost his courageous battle with cancer, his family also made significant memorial contributions to MHC.
During 2006 to 2008, the founding board completed the work involved in the establishment of the museum which included securing and caring for the base collection until such time as our museum location was determined. The board also engaged in a successful fundraising campaign in the community to raise seed money necessary to fund initial operations of the museum and began to work closely with the City of McAllen for funding support.
Today, the MHC, which opened to the public in June 2008, is located at the beautiful and historic “La Placita” building and former McAllen Post Office which was built in 1935. MHC is the result of the diligent and tedious work of the founding board towards developing the museum as well as the extraordinary support received from the City of McAllen and our community.
Current staff members who are also founding board members include Mrs. Elva M. Cerda, serving as our Managing Director and Mr. Spurgeon “Spud” Brown who is serving as our historian and tour guide. Other staff members include Lily Hernandez and Philip Mercado serving as a Museum Services Assistants. Our long term volunteers are Maynard and Fern Kreidler, Dr. Clark VonHeller of South Texas College and Virginia Hall among many other college students that have come to use through ongoing internship programs with South Texas College and UTRGV. MHC is fortunate to have their services, dedication and constant enthusiasm which help meet the goals of the McAllen Heritage Center.
The future of MHC is filled with many new possibilities and opportunities which will result in continued service for our community in honor of our city history and historic preservation. For more information, please call the museum at (956) 687-1904, visit our website: www.mcallenheritagecenter.com or on facebook.
The museum is open to the public free of charge although door donations are gratefully accepted. Operating hours: Wednesday through Friday 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 11am to 4pm.