January 17, 2007
Located in Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston The Heritage Society offers what they call "A Walk into Houston’s Past." Eight Houses from different periods or from different social classes have been brought together here in Sam Houston Park. Only one, the Kellum-Noble House is actually at its original location. The other seven have been brought here from other locations. If you are satisfied with just seeing the exteriors of the houses you can wander around the park on your own for free and just look at all of them. We, however, wanted to take one of the guided tours. We arrived at 12:15 to find out that the next tour was 1pm and that there wasn’t any food to be had onsite. We walked across the street to1 Allen and went to the food court. We were not able to make it back for 1pm, however, and figured we would get the 2pm tour. Wrong, the tour is 2:30 and if it hadn’t been for the fact that there were ten of us by the time the tour time rolled around, I don’t think there would have been a 2:30 tour. The docent Gail was none to happy to find out that there wasn’t anyone to give us the tour, she had just done the 1pm and obviously hadn’t planned to do the 2:30. It all worked out and she is a very good guide but it was touch and go for a few minutes.There is a museum at the Heritage Society that is dedicated to preserving Houston’s history. It was closed, while they dismantled a recent exhibit. It was very disappointing. The tour starts at the museum, the cost is $6 for adults. We all paid up and followed Gail out into the courtyard. There we were introduced to the Statue of John Connally, former Governor of Texas whose main claim to fame is that he was wounded in the same motorcade in which President Kennedy was killed. From here we moved on to a very rustic cabin from the 1820s called Old Place. It is a one-room cabin of the type that would have been constructed by the settlers to satisfy the requirements of the Mexican government that the land granted had to have improvements on it. In order to get a land grant not only did you have to improve the land you were supposed to learn to speak Spanish and become a Roman catholic. Most settlers disregarded the last two.In order to do this tour you need to be able to walk and climb stairs, only one house Nichols, Rice Cherry House is handicap accessible to the first floor but not the second floor.
In total we visited four houses, which houses any tour visits depends on the docent and those on the tour. Gail asked if anyone had a special house they wanted to see.
From journal Ima Believer in Houston