The Heritage Museum of Montgomery County, at the moment, is composed of four themed Galleries of Montgomery County history and the people, places, and events that made it what it is today. Our current galleries are Glimpses of Montgomery County, Towns, People & Events, a Discovery Room or Hands-On Children’s Room and an entire room of the various mediums of Mark C. Clapham Art Gallery. Whether your interests lie in the land and the oil under it or the flag that flies over it, there are exhibits for everyone. Whether you are interested in art, Black History, Texas flag history or antique telephone equipment, we have an exhibit that will appeal to you. If there are young ones in your family, the Children’s room will take them, and you, way back to a simpler time. At the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County, our roots run far into the future, with plans for new buildings and exhibits well underway.
Gallery I, Glimpses of Montgomery County, features a timeline chronicling the area's entire history, from prehistoric times to the building of Lake Conroe and The Woodlands in the late 1970's. Learn about the beginnings of Conroe and Willis and how the George W. Strake gusher changed the entire future of Montgomery County. An important feature of the Museum is a replica of the office of Dr. Charles B. Stewart, a local resident who served as the first Secretary of State to the Republic of Texas.
Gallery II, Towns, People & Events, honors those who have impacted the county and distinguishes some of the first events for the area, such as the first county fair, the first telephone, etc. The Black History exhibit showcases Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the World. Come see how today’s Montgomery County is a fraction of the size of the original.
Gallery III, is Discovery Room designed by the Conroe Service League. Here children can explore a log cabin and a turn- of- the- century general store. There is “old-timey” clothing to try on, a period general store for pretend shopping and the opportunity to be a mercantile shop keeper with a working antique cash register. The log cabin provides insight into the past and the much simpler, though not necessarily easier, life in the typical pioneer home. The items on display in the home and store
Gallery IV, the Mark C. Clapham Art Gallery. This exhibit consists of a comprehensive collection of paintings, drawing and sculptures that were the life work of the renowned Texas painter and Sculptor, Mark Clapham. Mark was born in California in 1948, but made Conroe, TX his home for the last 40 years of his life. He loved the area so much that, upon his death in 2012, he wanted the contents of his studio and many of his remaining artwork to be available at the Museum.
Strake superintendent's house moved from the Oilfield. The unique house fabrication was called portable construction and was built in 1938 for the amount of $3,200. Harvey Lee, the first Strake superintendent and the driller who brought in the "big one", lived in this home. In 1946, the company house was passed on to the second superintendent and star baseball player, Clyde Thomas "Dolly" Gray. Dolly Gray was a leader on the Strake Wildcats Baseball team.
The Roughneck House was moved from Duffy Road southeast of Conroe. In the hey day of the Conroe Oilfield, the Roughneck House served as a bunkhouse for oilfield works to sleep and eat. Three or four workers would use the house as a home-away-from-home after having left their families behind to work in the oilfield.
Outdoor Exhibits: flying Pegasus, thanks to the generosity of donor, William (Bill) C. Conroe and his family along with a grant from the City of Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau for relocation and restoration. Other interesting outdoor exhibits include a train, an antique tractor, a vintage cannon, a real “peckerwood” sawmill, a trough, an oil rig, a bronze bust of “Joe Roughneck” and recently an Antique Fire Extinguisher from the Conroe Oilfield donated by Danbury Reso.
Hallway – Video History
The Museum also offers a research room complete with videos of Astronaut Robert (Bob) L. Crippen’s space flights, oral histories of long-time county residents (See Video History Page), traveling exhibitions for schools and organizations to enjoy, a unique gift shop and several outdoor exhibits depicting the history of Montgomery County.