This is a significant and moving part of Houston's history. A tour of Yates home was enlightening because of the wonderful docents. A walk around the block revealed brick streets that I didn't know existed, built by the residents, many of whom were bricklayer. Treat yourself.
It was a completely incredible experience. I was raised in Houston and had no idea of the black brilliance that literally pathed the way. Thank you for preserving this story.
Great history lessons to be learned here and so cool that you get to learn while seeing the actual homes these historic figures lived in! The RBHY group is doing awesome work to preserve the history and share it with the community. Can't wait to see how this museum grows over time!
We visited this establishment on Saturday, our second day in Houston. Catherine and Ms Lou we’re extremely nice. Unfortunately I attempted to schedule a Freedmen’s Town tour with a couple of black Houston tour guides to no avail. After one email, Catherine promptly scheduled us for a 1 pm tour on Saturday. Upon arrival our tour guides gave us a short tour outside showing us the revitalization under way by volunteers of some of the historic homes in Freedmen’s town including a prominent black lawyer’s house, and Rutherford Yates home. The brick roads are also extremely historic and it was enlightening to discuss the African influence on the architecture and design of the roads and homes in this area. We did not get a chance to see the Masonic temple or barber shop due to the heat outside. We were taken indoors to the Rutherford Yates house which underwent an extreme restoration of a house that was deemed beyond salvageable. The indoor museum was amazing with many artifacts of past life in Freedmen’s town. The museum also includes a replica of the town in model format. There is also an inventor room with many great inventions and the patents of black inventors including the super soaker, toilet, traffic light, and famous inventors such as Madam CJ Walker. The museum has big plans to create separate themed museums within Freedmen’s town. This would include a museum that focuses on the legal and education contributions made by black people, and the printer contributions which Rutherford Yates was. The museum is also looking for some artifacts to add to their collection including a glass pane for one of their wooden doors, and an older water closet to include in the bathroom they have included. The restoration work done on the Rutherford Yates house was very impressive and the outreach to the community is amazing. This museum features programs for the youth of the community and even involves local colleges for the restoration and work including Texas Southern University. They also have a little gift shop in the museum which has t shirts, books, and other memorabilia for sale. We donated $10 to the museum’s donation box since the tour is free to the public. The museum has also utilized the work of two black women that are two of few restoration architects in the country! It’s unfortunate that the city of Houston has destroyed many of the original brick roads that were built by black brick layers which was of the highest skill and quality. The museum has unfortunately had to sue the city for attempting to destroy this entire neighborhood. They were able to save several homes which they are planning to revitalize. The tireless work of these women and the community is amazing to protect and showcase the legacy of Houston’s Freedmen’s town. Catherine was even gracious enough to give us a ride to Sam Houston park for our next tour of the Reverend Jack Yates house. I would definitely recommend this tour and museum to anyone visiting Houston and locals that want to get in touch with the black history and heritage of Houston. I hope that this museum will continue to get donations and thrive in Houston for everyone to cherish what was and what is to come.
Great tour into history..
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