Railway Museum of San Angelo receives award of Merit by Texas Historical Commission

Local News

Courtesy of Becky Brackin

San Angleo, Texas (March 8)- Railway Museum of San Angelo has been recognized by the Texas Historical Commission (THC). The THC holds annual awards to exemplify worthy accomplishments and leadership in the preservation of Texas’ heritage.

On February 21, 2021, our local historic museum received an award of merit for a true shining light in the face of adversity, the Railway Museum of San Angelo has significant contributions to historical preservation, education, and community outreach. Director of the History Programs Division of the Texas Historical Commission wrote, “We were impressed by the museum’s successful efforts in engaging and educating the community, as well as by its quick pivot toward online programming during the pandemic.”

When the pandemic began, many businesses and organizations were forced to close.  The Railway Museum saw an opportunity to help during the COVID-19 shutdown. President of the Railway Museum of San Angelo, Suzanna Valenzuela, created weekly virtual outreach programs such as Tunes on the Track, Rail Tales, and Art Aboard!, to engage, educate, and entertain the community of San Angelo.  

In 2019, board members of the Railway Museum began their mission to make the museum an active space for the community and a place for people to visit from around the world to learn about our railroad heritage. As members of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce and Downtown San Angelo, Inc., and partners of Goodfellow Air Force Base, the museum has been a part of many community-based activities. 

Activities with the Chamber have included participating in the Be a Tourist in Your Own Town Tour, Business at Happy Hour, Goodfellow Air Force Base Newcomer Tour, and Goodfellow Appreciation Day. Downtown San Angelo activities include being a part of the National American Express Shop Small Campaign, the Downtown Stroll, and playing a part in the #DowntownStrong #HeartoftheCity campaign.

The Railway Museum has hosted outreach events for the Hispanic community by introducing a Hispanic Heritage Month event that was free to the public with mariachi music & folkloric dancers and holding a Covers for Kids Face Mask distribution in partnership with the San Angelo Hispanic Heritage Museum & Cultural Center.  

Currently, the museum offers living history tours under the direction of board member, Dr. Linda Bond.  Visitors can experience guided tours of the museum by various groups dressed in 1800’s attire.  Grape Creek High School Theatre students and Angelo State University Association of Mexican American Students have conducted the Living History Tours which add an entertaining touch to sharing our past.

The board members of the Railway Museum of San Angelo are continuously and actively striving to keep this beautiful treasure alive. “With operating expenses exceeding the small portions of monthly income from admissions and gift shop sales, any public contributions will help save the museum and its integrity,” states Monica Ramos, Vice President of the Railway Museum of San Angelo. 

The museum will begin a six-week membership drive on March 13th, including living history tours and scavenger hunts from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every Saturday. The drive will conclude with a Railway Days Festival on Saturday, April 17th. Online donations to the museum can be made by visiting sanangelorailway.org .

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