By Penny LeLeux
For the Record 

Heritage House Museum reopens after five-year closure


Last updated 12/6/2022 at 7:11pm

Penny LeLeux 

Charlotte Alford, director of the Heritage House Museum welcomes Orange County residents to the grand reopening of the museum on Wednesday, December 7th with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m., followed by an open house. Santa will greet the kiddies 6-8 p.m.

The Heritage House Museum located at 905 W. Division St. in Orange has been closed since sustaining damage in 2017 from Hurricane Harvey. They are happy to announce a grand reopening today at 4 p.m. Santa will make an appearance 6-8 p.m. for pictures and to listen to youngsters wish lists for Christmas.

"We are excited to get to show the community once again inside the Heritage House Museum," said Adam Conrad, museum board president. "It has been closed since Hurricane Harvey for repairs. Each additional hurricane added more stress to the house. We have made some final touches and are ready to show her off again."

"We have been working nonstop," said Charlotte Alford, director of the museum about getting the building ready for its debut. "It has been a labor of love, but it has been intense."

She said Hurricane Laura blew out a window causing more damage to the building.

"All the ceilings are wallpaper and they fell," she said. Supply issues caused other delays. "It's just been a lot."

"We've had numerous contractors for various things," said Alford. "The damage was so intense and it's a historical home, we wanted to do everything in the same era of the house, so it's been a lot."

Cost of repairs were paid for through FEMA funding and insurance.

They were able to continue their Ghost Walks, Evergreen cemetery tours and the even did drive-through visits with Santa during the closure but are happy to get back to business on a regular basis.

The Ghost Walk has become very popular. Over 1,000 people attended this year.

Alford said there are also plans to hopefully start a camp this summer with activities of the period (1903) in which children can participate.

"While we are ready to reopen to the public, we are still saving money to address some problem areas of the home," said Conrad.

"Our Williams building is now completed also," said Alford. "It has the research center in it. It contains Dr. Howard Williams, all his research."

Alford says people have already come to do research in the center, including volunteers from the Orangefield Cormier Museum. They have been researching for the new Levingston Shipbuilding exhibit that is almost complete in Orangefield.

"Our files will be open to anyone that wants to come do research of their family, their home, their business," said Alford. Research materials can be found covering all of Orange County.

"We can't wait to share Orange County history again," said Conrad.

Tours will now be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Group tours can be arranged at special times by calling the office at (409) 886-5385.


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