On Thursday, June 5, the Gregg County Historical Museum (GCHM) will host a private reception to celebrate the Museum’s 30th anniversary and unveil the Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection in the newly remodeled Caddo Room. The Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection exhibit will be open to the public on June 6, with a grand opening planned for November 2014.
The Everett Building, located in downtown Longview, houses the Gregg County Historical Museum. After extensive restoration, the Museum opened its doors for operation on June 2, 1984 in the historic 1910 Victorian commercial structure that was built by bank owner, L. J. Everett. In 1979, the Everett Building was donated to the Gregg County Historical Foundation by Ann Lacy Crain in memory of her parents, Rogers and Lawson Keener Lacy. The Everett Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has a Texas Historical Marker.
The Museum is currently undergoing a three million dollar restoration to expand and better preserve its collections; enhance its educational capabilities, including a research center for historical and genealogical research; and improve its ability to share the legacy of Gregg County and the surrounding East Texas region. The restoration of the Caddo Room is part of this momentous project to lovingly care for, restore, and preserve this beautiful historic building which serves as a jewel in the heart of downtown Longview.
The Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection contains several thousand objects and is one of the largest of Prehistoric artifacts in the region. Caddo ceramic vessels and tools dating from Early Caddo through Historic periods were donated to GCHM in 2003. Buddy Calvin Jones excavated most of the artifacts during the 1950s and 1960s in northeast Texas, many in Gregg County.
From 2009 to 2012, in compliance with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), in partnership with the Caddo Nation, GCHM completed a full inventory and documentation of the Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection with the assistance of archaeological consultants.
In Spring 2014, after restoration of the display area, GCHM began developing a new exhibit to display a portion of this significant collection. The exhibit illuminates the rich heritage of East Texas’ first peoples and the impact of the Caddo in Gregg County and beyond. Occupying the region from AD 800, the Caddo were known for their political and religious organizations and wide-ranging trade networks. The fine ceramics and tools these peoples left behind tell the story of their culture and their achievements.
Visitors will see over 100 artifacts, including pottery dating from circa A.D. 1200 through 1830; tools including Archaic points; and memorabilia related to Buddy Calvin Jones. Interpretive text panels will illuminate the history of the Caddo and the objects themselves.
Patti Haskins and Rachel Rogerson developed the new exhibit. Haskins is GCHM’s volunteer archaeological steward with the Texas Historical Commission. She has been with the Museum since 2003, conserving and cataloguing the collection. She has researched the Caddo for over 20 years and co-authored two articles published in the Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology. Rogerson received her master’s in Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in November 2013, and came to the Museum in December 2013. While studying in St Andrews she researched and catalogued the Moroccan Collection for the Museum of the University of St Andrews, as well as, co-curated a botany exhibit at the St Andrews Museum.
GCHM is honored to hold such an important collection. The Museum aims to inform and educate the public of the history of the Caddo people in the region.
The Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection exhibit will be on display at the Gregg County Historical Museum from June 6, 2014.
Admission to the Museum including all exhibits is $2.00 for adults; $1.00 for seniors, students, and children over age 6; and free for children under the age of 6. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
About Gregg County Historical Museum
The Gregg County Historical Foundation, which owns and operates the Gregg County Historical Museum, is the oldest historical preservation institution in Gregg County Texas. Its purpose is to preserve and exhibit for public benefit, education and enjoyment, the historical heritage of Northeast Texas in general and in Gregg County in particular. The Gregg County Historical Museum collects, preserves and exhibits principally those artifacts, publications, archival materials, photographs, ephemera and other items that are relevant to discovery, early history, and continuing development of Gregg County. The Museum provides educational programs for children, and collaborates with heritage organizations and the community by providing special exhibits and programs, which establish continuity of the past and present. The Museum limits its acquisitions to those items for which it can provide adequate care, preservation, storage, and exhibition, and for which it has complete and unrestricted title.