San Jancinto Museum of History


Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy

Exhibit to Open at the San Jacinto Monument  

Long, long before Nike came up with its swoosh, and McDonald's its golden arches, civilizations of every era found ways to make their own distinctive mark. The San Jacinto Museum of History will honor those predecessors of modern-age branding with an exhibit Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy that opens Saturday, November 12, 2011 at the San Jacinto Monument.

Open to the public for a modest charge, the exhibit looks at the tools that have been used over the centuries to make marks; the people and institutions that have affected change in the region; and the symbols that our predecessors created and passed on to future generations to convey important ideas and concepts.

With over 300 artifacts ranging from exotic formulations used by 19th century Texas pharmacists to diagnose disease in a growing population in a hostile land to Masonic aprons that tell entire stories in pictures, this show illustrates how multiple cultures over many centuries crafted a wide array of artifacts to effectively communicate traditions and ideas.

It also examines the stories of the people, events and places that left a mark on the history of the land but have been lost in time - events such as the 1898 Spanish-American War that are largely forgotten though the copnsequences of that conflict still resonate today.

The show features two important artifacts that were recently conserved:

  • Sculptor Gutzon Borglum's wax bust of Sam Houston. Borglum is the American artist and sculptor famous for creating the monumental presidents' heads at Mount Rushmore. Houston's sculpture has been in the collections of the San Jacinto Museum since 1939 but it has never been put on public display due to condition issues. After a four-0month conservation effort, the newly cleaned and stabilized bust goes on display in the exhibit that also explores Borglum's little-known connection to building the San Jacinto Monument.
  • Pressler's Map of the State of Texas, created in 1858 by cartographer Charles W. Pressler, is considered one of the premier large-scale maps of the state produced in the 19th century. It accurately depicts the rivers, developing road system, and political divisions within the state that, on the eve of the Civil War, was experiencing growth in population and growth of geographical knowledge. Donated by descendants of the cartographer, this copy has also been recently conserved. The map will be displayed with the cartographer's tools and field journal, as well as surveying tools that were used by George Green, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, to chart the terrain of Texas.


"A signature boldly carved into the base of a sculpture depicting one of Texas' greatest heroes, a small red seal at the foot of a document that gives that paper the authority to change the law of the land, the lines on a map being redrawn to reflect a world shaped by politics, economics, exploration and war - these are some examples of how marks made by our ancestors can give insight into the past that we celebrate today," says museum President Larry Spasic. "We are proud to share the treasures of this exhibit, featuring artifacts that reflect the diversity of cultures that have left a mark on this region. By doing so, the museum leaves its own mark in the psyche of our visitors."

A pre-opening Special Evening with Texas History fundraiser that benefits the San Jacinto Museum of History will be held at the monument on Friday, November 11, with U.S. Senator John Cornyn as the honored guest. Guests at this event will have the first opportunity to view the exhibit. Additional information about the fundraiser is available by calling 281.479.2421.

Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy will be open for approximately a year beginning November 12, 2011 from Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.  Get ticket information here.

Visitors to the exhibit and the monument can also enjoy the permanent exhibits at the Museum for free. Individual or combo tickets can be purchased to enjoy the Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy special exhibit, the elevator to the observation deck, and/or movie Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto.

The exhibit is located on the first floor of the San Jacinto Monument at One Monument Circle, La Porte, TX - just a 20 minute ride from downtown Houston.

The San Jacinto Museum of History was established not only to honor those who fought here in 1836, but also to re-visualize the history of Texas and the Spanish Southwest. It was created as a steward of history, and to promote friendship between Texas, Mexico, Spain, France and Latin America. Special treasures can be found from Mexican Texas, the Texas Revolution, the Republic of Texas, the Spanish conquest of the Americas, French Texas, Spanish colonial life, the Mexican Revolution, the Anglo colonization of Mexican Texas, Texas' early statehood and the Civil War.

MORE INFORMATION: For more information about this event or the San Jacinto Museum of History, please call 281-479-2421 or visit Visit the museum's Facebook page for additional information about artifacts in the collections.


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