Prehistoric plants and animal fossils, native people and European colonization exhibits, and a steamboat replica are but a few of the fascinating displays to see at the Museum of South Texas History.
For almost 40 years the Museum has chronicled the heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, preserving its rich history. The Museum has been a part of the community since 1967. It first opened its doors as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the old Hidalgo County jail. Built in 1910, the Old Jail continues to be one the most important sections of the museum.
In 2003 the Museum completed a $5.5 million expansion, including a 22,500 square foot wing that includes the Museum Store, Grand Lobby, and permanent exhibits. At the time of this expansion, the Museum changed to its present name to reflect its mission to represent the history of the entire region.
As part of the 2003 expansion, the Museum installed the first two sections of the Rio Grande Legacy. This permanent exhibit sequence, with bilingual text and state of the art displays, takes visitors on a journey through the prehistory and history of the region. The first section, River Frontier, illustrates the geological origins of the area, its ancient animals and plants, its native peoples and their encounters with Europeans and the establishment of the region as a frontier of New Spain. The third and final portion, River Crossroads, introduces visitors to the rapid and astounding changes brought to the region during the 20th century. In this and other endeavors, such as preservation of the Old Jail, supporters and FRIENDS enable the Museum to continue its mission of presenting the unique heritage of the region.