The San Jacinto Museum of History, within the base of the San Jacinto Monument, holds one of the largest collections of Texas art, artifacts and history. The monument is located next to the historic Battle Ship Texas in La Porte, Texas (Harris County).
San Jacinto Museum of History
The museum was established both to honor those who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, and to re-visualize the history of Texas and the Spanish Southwest. It was created as a steward of history—to promote friendship between Texas, Mexico, Spain, France and Latin America.
Driven by its mission to collect and preserve significant historical materials which relate to the early history and culture of Texas, the San Jacinto Museum of History Association has acquired more than 17,000 objects, 18,000 volumes and 700 linear feet of manuscript materials from Texas and New Spain, the United States, and Mexico. The museums collections include:
- Ancient Mayan and Aztec artifacts
- Glorious Spanish arms, art and treasure
- Rare French trappings from Robert Cavelier’s 1684 Texas expedition
- Missionary artwork and religious artifacts
- Mexican artwork, uniforms and weaponry
- Personal affects belonging to Texan and American founders
- Unique artifacts from the Texas Navy
- Rare artifacts from early America and the Civil War
- Antique firearms, knives, and swords
- Currency and coins from around the world
- Ladies' jewelry and dressing-table appointments
San Jacinto Monument
The San Jacinto Monument is the world's tallest war memorial, standing 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument and honors all those who fought for Texas' independence.
Immediately after Texas gained its independence in the Battle of San Jacinto, the land—then privately owned—commanded respect from all who walked on its soil. The Texas Veterans Association began planning a formal monument, and the state finally received funding to purchase land in the 1890s.
After years of pushing by the Sons and Daughters of the Republic of Texas, as well as help from President Roosevelt’s Secretary of Commerce Jesse H. Jones—a prominent Houstonian—its proponents raised enough money to build a fitting monument. And the time was right, with San Jacinto’s 100-year anniversary at hand.
The design was the brainchild of architect Alfred C. Finn, engineer Robert J. Cummins, and Jesse H. Jones. Construction ran from 1936 to 1939. With continued support, the San Jacinto Museum Historical Association has occupied the facility since its doors first opened.
Its builder was the Warren S. Bellows Construction Company of Dallas and Houston. The monument building alone—apart from its great historical significance—is worth a trip to the San Jacinto Battleground Historical State Park. At 570 feet, this Texas giant one of the finest examples of Moderne (Art Deco) architecture in the United States. The monument has been recognized as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The museum is located in the base of the monument, greeting visitors with bronze doors emblazoned with the six flags of Texas. The base is 125 feet square, with text panels highlighting significant events in history leading up to and resulting from the Texas Revolution.
The shaft itself is octagonal, 48 feet at its base, 30 feet at the observation level and 19 square feet at the base of its crowning jewel—a 220-ton star made from stone, steel and concrete. Despite the scale, danger and novelty of the project, not a single life was lost during its construction.
Take a 500-foot elevator ride to the observation deck atop the San Jacinto Monument. Stand beneath the 220-ton Lone Star of Texas, and view Houston from above.
Jesse H. Jones Theatre
View Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto, a 35-minute video that brings you from the earliest Spanish colonies to the day the West was won, in the 160-seat Jesse H. Jones Theatre for Texas Studies.
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau - Member