The Beaumont Heritage Society wishes to thank the B.A. and Elinor Steinhagen Foundation and The Foundation of Southeast Texas for our newly, re-surfaced parking lot and the fencing to secure our property. Your support makes the difference!
A big thank you to the B.A. and Elinor Steinhagen Foundation for our new fencing. We appreciate the support! Come out and admire the beautiful new fence in front of the museum complex, along the side yard, in front of the cemetery, behind the blacksmith shop and along the parking lot at the visitor center. This addition not only beautifies the grounds, but also helps secure the property as well as defines the museum complex borders, adding privacy. We love it!
On Saturday, October 17th, the Beaumont Heritage Society is hosting our annual “Pumpkin Walk” on the grounds of the historic John Jay French Museum from 6 pm – 8 pm. Use your creativity to decorate or carve a pumpkin and enter it in our contest! The “Best” pumpkin in several categories will be selected by ballot and prizes will be awarded, so gather your friends and family to come vote on your masterpiece.
This event will include a “haunted” tour of the French home, a hay ride, a pumpkin craft for the kids, and unique pumpkins decorated by local non-profits that are available for purchase through a silent auction that benefits both the participating non-profit and the Beaumont Heritage Society.
Pocahontas will also be visiting our historic grounds, and Slow Foods will be doing a seasonal cooking demonstration. divina la pizza food truck will be on site so bring your appetite! You can eat while you vote on your favorite pumpkin! Costumes are welcome!
Cost is $5.00 per person. Proceeds benefit the Beaumont Heritage Society’s mission of promoting historical education and preservation of the city of Beaumont. Please complete the entry form below or call our office at 409-898-0348 for more information about this event. Pumpkin Walk Contest Rules 2015
Underwritten by Susan and Roger McCurry *
In Kind Donations *
SONIC-McKibbin Group Franchisee *
Colorado Canyon *
Nothing Bundt Cakes *
Earth Analytical Sciences, Inc. *
Burns Antik Haus*
Cabell’s International *
Christina and Josh Crawford*
Cici’s Pizza *
Councilmember-At-Large, Gethrel Williams-Wright *
Dance Solutions *
FUMC Estate Sales *
Garrison Fuller – RE/MAX ONE *
Gingham & Pearls *
Heartfield Designs *
Honey B Ham *
J. Mark & Denise Smith *
Jack’s Pak It *
Jennifer Pate *
Katharine & Company *
McFaddin-Ward House *
Regina Rogers *
Seafood Lover *
Thairapy Salon & Spa *
UPS Store *
Zachary & Lauren Smith *
Thank you for supporting Beaumont History!
Happy summer from the John Jay French Museum! This season has been an extremely busy one and we are excited to report that tours are up due to vacationers and, of course, group tours. The Beaumont Heritage Society was organized, in part, for educational purposes. One way we fulfill this obligation is through our tours of the John Jay French and Chambers House museums throughout the year. If you haven’t been in a while, you need to gather your friends and family and come for a visit! Do you want to know why all those holes are punched into the tin on the French family pie safe, or even what a pie safe is? We have docents that can tell you and after Camp Lookinback 2015, we have a fair number of six to eleven year old children who can tell you, too!
Each July at the French Museum, we get to surround ourselves with up to 60 inquisitive children who receive an immersive history lesson without even knowing it! They are having that much fun! This year was no exception. Campers didn’t just learn how to write with a quill pen, they got to make their own ink from blackberries. Hungry? What would Sally French do? She would make corn fritters, of course, so that’s exactly what the kids did. Those fritters tasted even better after campers worked up an appetite grinding corn!
Our four day summer camp consists of twelve activities each session. This year, kids experienced a 1800’s school day and hands-on farm animal care, participated in a mock archaeological dig, made Native American art, and even learned how to make arrowheads by flintknapping. Kids also learned all about pitcher plants and got to make one of their own, and washed clothes and fetched water the old fashioned way. As if all that wasn’t enough, there were lots of giggles heard during our deportment segment dancing the Virginia Reel!
We are so very grateful to the many individuals who volunteered their time and talents by sharing them with the children at Camp Lookinback. We would like to thank archaeologists Dr. Charlie Bollich and Brenda and Ron Jackson; M. Jeanene Ebeling and Terrie Looney from the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center; Leslie Lloyd and the 8th Bridge City Red Raiders; artist, Susan Mosier; flintknapper, Tim Durr; Big Thicket National Preserve rangers; Ramona Hutchinson from JCHC; Carla Tucker; Randy Pemberton; Nancy Cook; Mark Phelan; and our many camp counselors. We would also like to thank the YMBL for providing a grant which enables us to offer scholarships to children in underserved communities. Folks like these help us ensure that Camp Lookinback is both fun and educational and available to children through-out the Golden Triangle. Look for all new activities at Camp Lookinback 2016!
Janci Kimball, Assistant Director
July brought the beginning of our new fiscal year at the Beaumont Heritage Society. We welcomed new Board members and formed fresh committees to tackle the needs of the organization and help further our mission for the next twelve months. It’s an exciting time; planning events, new educational programming, and preservation projects.
Hosting events at our historical house museums, and occasionally at other historically significant locales in Beaumont, allows us to share our city’s heritage and provide a valuable glimpse into a way of life few live today. Preservation of these historic structures matters. They give a community its identity and flavor. They bring back childhood memories of visits long ago or remind people of beloved family members who may have lived in a similar way. A visit to our museums sparks the imagination. Visitors love hearing about the families and seeing the different architecture and furnishings from bygone days; we love coming up with unique events to showcase them.
We are very excited to be hosting a Pumpkin Walk on the grounds of the French Museum on October 17th. We plan on making this an annual event. Everyone is invited to decorate or carve a pumpkin to enter into a contest for prizes. Pumpkins will be judged by the visiting public of the Pumpkin Walk by popular vote. Categories for judging include Scariest Pumpkin, Best Carved, Funniest Pumpkin, Most Creative, and Best Overall. Admission is $5.00. Children will have an opportunity to take part in a craft and members of Beaumont Community Players will be on hand to help bring departed French family members back for the evening in a haunted tour of the historic home and grounds. We are also reaching out to other local non-profits and asking them to submit a decorated pumpkin (no carving, please) into our silent auction to raise awareness and promote their organization. Proceeds from the auction will be equally shared to benefit the BHS and the participating non-profit. In addition, businesses have an opportunity to sponsor the event and will be recognized on printed material, social media, and on our website.
The fun doesn’t end there! We have our Haunted Halloween Heritage Happy Hour taking place on Thursday, October 22nd at the Chambers House Museum. Watch Beaumont Community Players bring the Chambers family to life on a special tour of this wonderful home. While this is an annual event, we have made some changes to keep it fresh and engaging! Admission is free to BHS members and includes craft beer selections provided by Giglio Distributing, Inc. for those 21 and over. Non-members are welcome with admission of $10.00 (21 and older). Everyone under 21 FREE of charge. Don’t miss these fun October events!
Alicia McKibbin, Executive Director
Heritage Happy Hour is an on-going partnership between the BHS and Giglio Distributing Co. Each event highlights an historical exhibit, time period, or landmark, as well as craft beer or brewery that is being showcased by Giglio Distributing Co. The event is expected to take place every other month and the location will be subject to change as we highlight historical landmarks throughout our city. The Beaumont Heritage Society and Giglio Distributing Co. believe that by promoting and sharing our local history and its historical significance that we can also share and promote the efforts to preserve Beaumont’s historical landscape.
March 21st proved to be one of the rainiest days in some time, but the deluge would do nothing to dim the beauty of our grand lady, the Chambers House, on the evening of our 3rd Annual Moonlight Masquerade Ball. She stood in her finery, receiving guests for this grand occasion, and was admired by everyone who ventured into her rooms. The Ball gave us the opportunity to showcase this wonderful home in a unique manner, transporting guests back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time when the Chambers Home was in her heyday.
There are many I wish to thank, without whom our event would not have been a success: Giglio Distributing Co., for their continued support of our preservation efforts and their donation of the majority of the liquor and all of the beer; Deco Designs, Janey Phelan, located at Burns Antik Haus, for her gracious donation of the Sorrelli jewelry raffled at the event; It’s All ‘N the Presentation, for assistance with the fabulous décor; AAA Rentals, who minimized guest exposure from the elements by providing additional covered walkways; Debb’s Liquor, for the donation of ice and use of their ice chests; Bando’s staff, for serving their delicious food in less than ideal weather conditions; Controlled Fluids, for the use of their parking lot; the Night and Day Orchestra, for performing the perfect music to enhance the event; Remi Kate Kimball “Ginger” and Porter LaPray “Fred”, for selling raffle tickets; our volunteer docents, and the many Board members who sold tickets and/or volunteered their time. A special thank you to all those who attended. I sincerely hope you had a memorable time and gained a new appreciation of this special Beaumont treasure!
Just two weeks after the Ball, we held our first Easter egg hunt in decades on the gorgeous grounds of the John Jay French Museum. The weather cooperated, and we had a great turn-out on a beautiful day. I wish to extend a special thanks to Terra Bella Stables for graciously underwriting this event. Also, thanks to Susan and Roger McCurry, M&D Supply, and Market Basket for their in-kind donations. Everyone met Mrs. Easter Bunny and “John Jay French.” It was a wonderful family event, and one which we plan to hold annually so keep us in mind for next year!
We at the Beaumont Heritage Society love the French Museum…and apparently the local raccoons do, too! Our aging, cedar shake roof provides the perfect opportunity for exploration by area wildlife, and with it, comes leaks. I am pleased to announce that with a generous grant from the Chambers Charitable Foundation, we will be replacing our roof with new cedar shakes in May. We are very appreciative of this grant, and wish to thank Capital One and the Foundation for their assistance with the preservation of this important Beaumont historical landmark.
Spring has sprung at the Beaumont Heritage Society and it is the season for school tours. It is so rewarding to get to teach our youth about Beaumont’s past and see their enthusiasm. It reminds us of why we love what we do! Saint Anne’s 3rd graders visited in April and we have several others on the books, including All Saints and Homer Elementary. We also have several senior group tours scheduled. It is always a joy to hear their stories of the past. If you know of a group that would enjoy a tour of our museum, call us!
We are working hard on our summer program, Camp Lookinback. It promises, as always, to provide a fun, educational experience for our campers ages 6-11. Camp Lookinback is a hands-on, history based summer camp held in two identical sessions; Session I, Tuesday-Friday, July 14 – 17 (9am-Noon), followed by Session II, Tuesday-Friday, July 21 -24 (9am-Noon ). The cost is $65 for BHS members and $75 for non-members. Some camp activities this year include participating in a simulated archeological dig, tending and harvesting a garden on the museum grounds, making ink and writing with quill pens, and experiencing a typical school day in the 19th century, plus so many more! Spots are limited to 30 children per session and are filled on a first come, first served basis.
Plan to visit our museums and support Beaumont history!