It’s been a long time since I visited the Clifton Steamboat Museum. In fact, May 2013 was the last time I set foot onto the complex (story here). Unfortunately, work, research, and other endeavors have not let me branch out and revisit as many places as I would like, but I hope to change this in 2017!
In the past, the Clifton Steamboat Museum has been open by appointment only, but that all changed last Thursday when the museum held its grand re-opening to the delight of all who attended. Some of the exhibits have changed a bit, but the changes make this gem an even more wonderful experience for all the family to enjoy.
As I said, in the past, there was a plethora of eye-catching mementos of both Southeast Texas, and our nation’s history. The 24,000-square-foot museum is packed with items from top to bottom, beginning with the grain elevator built between 1895 and 1898 and used at the port of Port Arthur until it was saved from demolition by the museum’s founder David Hearn Jr. and brought to the complex. You also can say the same for Hercules, the tugboat outside that was saved in 1991.
Throughout the museum, you’ll find ship models created by Robert V. Haas, a collection of work by sculptor Matchett Herring Coe, and many exhibits dedicated to each of the nation’s war campaigns. I found this most intriguing since my 1940’s scrapbook regenerated my interest in World War II this past year.
Other highlights include an art gallery, a massive Boy Scout collection, and an SETX riverboat exhibit on the second floor.
Museum hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment at (409) 842-3162.
For more information, you can go to their website www.cliftonsteamboatmuseum.com