You’ve passed it countless times on Cardinal Drive while heading to your destination, but just like the Wallisville museums, you are missing a goldmine of treasures. This is most definitely the place where you can see how life was in SETX at the turn of the 20th century. Each building is from a different sector of our history. And worth the small fee charged to aid the upkeep of this fine place.
When you arrive for the tour, you are first shown a brief film on the origins of Spindletop and how Gladys City was formed. After that you can take a self-guided tour through the different buildings at your own pace. The countless artifacts and old trinkets that the curators have acquired are amazing. As I found myself browsing through them all, I couldn’t help but think back to my old neighbor, Roy, because I had seen a lot of the tools displayed here in his shop.
My particular favorites in Gladys City are the general store, the photograph shop, and the printing shop. There are countless photos from this period that I could—and did—spend hours looking over.
After your tour, I would highly recommend having a look through the gift shop. Whether it’s the abundance of local books from local authors or the countless jars of jams and preserves, there’s something for everyone. My personal favorite is the fig preserve.
Gladys City, I believe, is a great teaching tool to educate both young and old about what it was like to live at the turn of the 20th century. Oil was the new path to riches back then, and many came here seeking just that. There are many stories, both told and untold, from this era, and I hope to delve into them at a later time.
Gladys City is located o the Lamar University campus at 5550 University Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Note All pricing and touring information was taken from Spindletops website which can be found below.
Seniors 60+ $3
Children Ages 6-12 $2
Children 5 & younger Free
Lamar University students, faculty, staff, retirees and alumni are admitted free, w/valid ID.
Active military, including Reserves & National Guard, their spouses and dependents receive free admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Gladys City is available for special guided tours for groups of 10 or more Tuesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Groups of 10 or more visiting on Saturday or Sunday may receive the special tour rate for a self-guided tour. Tours usually last one hour to 90 minutes.
Special rates for adult groups are $3 each for Adults, $2 each for Adults 60+. Much of the museum complex is wheelchair accessible and benches are provided on the porches of several buildings.
For youth tours, including public and private schools, home school groups, and scout troops, during the regular school year (September-May), admission is free for all youth and one chaperone for every ten students is free. Additional chaperones pay the regular adult tour admission fee of $3. Admission for youth tours during the summer (June-August) is $1 per person, including youth and adults.
Gladys City can accommodate up to 150 children in one tour. It is requested that large groups have at least one chaperone for every ten children.