City celebrates museum's grand opening - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

City celebrates museum's grand opening

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - More than a decade of planning and hard work came to fruition this weekend in Mineola. The city celebrated the grand opening of the Museum of Transportation and History.

"What makes it special?" said Ray Blakeney, a board member of the Mineola historic museum. "The people make it special actually."

...people like Blakeney, who moved to Mineola in the 1950's. He has seen the "ups" and the "downs" of the small East Texas town. Small in size, but rich in history.

"This is a replica of Governor Jim Hogg's law office that was one of the first native Texas governor's of Texas," said Blakeney.

"One of the most memorable events that we've had is this young man, John David Cowan, a Mineola High School graduate naval officer, and he was one of the early casualties of the south Atlantic," said Mineola Mayor Bo Whitus.

He says the war room is his favorite of all the exhibits.

"The idea in the little towns is we either survive or we thrive and I think this is an indication that our community is thriving," said Whitus.

"We have a complete replica of the Select Theater in downtown Mineola which is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the state of Texas," said Lynda Rauschner, with the City of Mineola.

For the town of Mineola, it is more than a museum. It's a march down the path of history which, for generations, will tell the story of the people that make this town what it is.

"We think if people take away memories of what it was and what it is, they can also assist in what it should be," said Whitus.

"For the past 11 years, been trying to develop this and just now are seeing it come to fruition," said Blakeney. "So, it's very special."

The museum is on Highway 69 in Mineola. It's open Thursday-Saturday from 10am-3pm. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

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