Calaboose African American History Museum's Champion Challenge
The Calaboose African American History Museum extends heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the June 13 George Floyd Rally in San Marcos. Not only did the rally raise awareness to the racial tensions of today in America, many of the rally participants visited the Calaboose Museum for the first time while gathering at Durham Park before the march and learned about the history of African Americans in Hays County.
The building that houses the museum was the first jail in Hays County, built in 1873. When a new jail was built in 1884, the original structure was used to house black prisoners. In 1943, an extension was added to create a USO dance hall for black soldiers. In 1954, it was again converted into a community center for Dunbar residents. The museum’s founder, Johnnie M. Armstead, rescued the building from the wrecker’s ball and helped raise funds for its renovation and in May of 1997, the San Marcos City Council approved a resolution to designate the building for use as a history museum. Armstead was a strong leader in the community, serving as a member of the Hays County Historical Commission, The San Marcos Heritage Association, Preservation Associates and the NAACP. Armstead served as president of the Calaboose Board of Directors and museum director until her death in 2008.
The mission of the CAAHM is to preserve the memories and artifacts of the rich cultural life of African Americans in Hays County, to educate through exhibits and programs and to serve as a center of support for the San Marcos community. The Museum is located at 200 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and will reopen on July 4th for tours.
The Calaboose received over $1,000 in donations on the day of the George Floyd Rally and we challenge Hays County to continue giving with the goal of raising $2,020 between June 19 and July 19, 2020.
Join the Calaboose African American History Museum to help celebrate the contributions and experiences of African Americans in Hays County as a vital part of our local history and culture. You can donate at the Calaboose website or mail your donation to CAAHM, PO Box 481, San Marcos, TX 78667. Please be as generous as possible — be a Calaboose Champion.
•Submitted by the Calaboose African American History Museum