105 Wampus Cat Drive, Itasca, Texas
254-687-2922 ext 123
Open some Saturdays from 10 am - 1 pm. Call ahead to confirm a specific date.
Admission free. Donations accepted.
|Railroad Depot Office with switch between windows|
After the railroad stopped service in Itasca in the late 1960's, the Katy Depot was moved from downtown, initially to Hooks Street and then to its present location to serve as part of the Itasca Depot Heritage and Education Center. Besides the museum, there is a refurbished MKT caboose and fire fighting equipment on display outdoors.
|Advertisement for Itasca tailor|
Itasca's motto is the "Big Little Town" and its residents have a lot to be proud of. Founded in 1881 immediately following the establishment of the railroad in town, the town at one point had 6 dry good and clothing stores, 7 grocery stores, 4 hardware stores, 2 furniture stores, 3 drug stores, 2 lumber yards, 2 banks, 3 confectionery stores, 2 jewelry establishments, 1 racket store, 3 restaurants, 1 tinshop, 1 tailor shop, 1 harness shop, 1 photograph gallery, 2 millinery establishments, 1 newspaper, 3 real estate agencies, 1 refreshment stand, 2 meat markets, 2 hotels, 2 barber shops, 2 telephone exchanges, 2 livery stables, 1 resident dentist, and 3 cotton and grain buyers.
|Dental Office equipment|
|Early Itasca Band in front of old fire station|
|Itasca Weavers products|
The Itasca Cotton Manufacturing Company was opened in 1901. Many employees lived in the 48 homes in the "Mill Block" surrounding the mill, and the company would deduct expenses for these homes from their paychecks. Thirty-five years later, the Itasca Weavers Guild was established as the retail arm of the mill. Ella Pierce, the assistant to the mill's manager, came up with the idea to send out sample swatches, and sales increased dramatically. Known for high quality fabrics, especially drapery and upholstery fabric, Itasca Weavers shipped material throughout the world for over 20 years.
Switzer Woman's College and Conservatory was established by David Switzer in Itasca in 1902. Besides academic classes, the school had a basketball team for the students. The grand building was said to be one of the warmest places in town during the winter and one of the coolest in the summer. Later, the college was converted to the Burney Military Academy.
The museum's exhibits include