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Pictures of Katy Heritage Museum and Vintage Contents

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Exterior of Katy Heritage Museum

Exterior of Katy Heritage Museum

Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum

I've visited the Katy Heritage Museum several times—twice many years ago, with my husband and with my mother, and once more recently.

On our most recent visit, my husband and I were amazed to see many additions to the museum. The Katy Heritage Society has a park adjacent to the museum building. Numerous historic homes have been moved to the park. That is also relatively new. I will save that for another post and focus on showcasing the heritage museum solely today.

Katy, Texas

Katy, Texas, is a small town just west of Houston that sits on 11.26 square miles of space. Much of the land used to be open prairie, and the early residents had a strong history of farming.

Rice farming, in particular, was widespread, and rice dryers are still very much in evidence in Katy and surrounding areas. There are quite a few rice dryers, even in Houston. Most are used for other purposes these days.

History on Display

This Katy Heritage Museum is filled to the brim with old photos on the walls. People keep donating items to the museum from what used to belong to some of the pioneering families. It has quite a large inventory of artifacts and antiques in addition to the photos.

The museum has plenty of space to display all of this, with 9,600 square feet divided up into distinct areas.

When first walking in the smaller room to the front, it has items like old school desks. We spotted such items as old-time metal ice tongs. There was a rice milling board and a vintage coffee grinder and a large wooden coffee bin, among other things. I had never previously seen an old Ironrite Ironer, such as the one on display in this museum.

There were many tools and other artifacts of which I was also unfamiliar. It would be a great place to take kids and teach them what items people used to use in their daily lives routinely. Adults can also learn about history while viewing these many different things on display.

Back Room of the Museum

Large numbers of tractors of various types are on display in the larger room behind the entrance area. This space with high ceilings and massive doors allows the placement of huge pieces of old farming equipment to be installed and put on view.

The tractors are just a sampling of what you will be able to see. On display are also some old and vintage cars and trucks.

When the pioneer families started planting rice and other crops, some of the old farm equipment was quite primitive. As time passed, the implements became more sophisticated and began to save working hours while harvesting more products.

Massey-Harris Combine Story

One can read many interesting stories while in the museum looking at the equipment. One such story had to do with the Massey-Harris combine.

The workforce was sucked up by the war effort in 1944. Farm equipment was in short supply. Quotas on items were in place with the most vital supplies going to support the war effort.

A deal was struck between the U.S. government and Joe Tucker, who was the V.P. of Massey-Harris USA. Five hundred combines were built, and it was agreed that they would each harvest a set amount of acreage. In a short while, after the combines went into service, well over one million acres had been reaped. Twenty-five million bushels of grains had been collected sparing 1/3rd of man-hours and saving 1/2 million gallons of fuel. It was a resounding success!

One of those original 500 Massey-Harris combines is pictured here.

Update

In May of 2018, this museum now has a new name. It is the Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum in honor of a long-time Katy resident, mayor, and city administrator who did much to promote the opening of this museum.

Location

These photos are just a small sample of what you will be able to view if visiting this jewel of a museum in person. The museum is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. The best part is that admission is free!

The address is 6002 George Bush Drive, Katy, Texas 77493. To see a bit more of this museum, click on the video below.

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 18, 2020:

Hi Bruce,

I am glad that reading this brought back happy memories from your childhood days. There is much farming equipment on display in the Katy Heritage Museum, among other items.

Bruce on August 18, 2020:

Visiting this museum and reading your report brought back pleasant memories of time spent on my aunt and uncle's farm during my childhood.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 26, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

I had a sewing machine from my family, identical to the one you still have. Years ago, I donated it to a charity that taught people how to sew to make a living. So while it was an old-fashioned way of operating a machine, hopefully it is still in use somewhere.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 26, 2020:

Hi Virginia,

I agree with you, Virginia. Looking back at items typically in use from years ago is informative as well as fun.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

My photos only show a few of the items on display in this museum. They have an amazing collection of items, large and small.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

If we keep things long enough, by definition, they become antiques. Ha! This museum has a lot to teach others, especially youngsters.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Museums like this are essential for teaching future generations who may never have seen such items that were once commonplace. I am glad you liked the looks of this one.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 24, 2020:

I have the sewing machine pictured. It belonged to my great grandmother and is in great condition. The sewing machine actually flips underneath so you can use it as a little table. It is sitting in my formal living room and reminds me of her. I love antiques, especially if they bring back memories of family.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Katy, Texas, has a lot going for it! I am pleased that you are enjoying learning about it.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on April 24, 2020:

I love these kinds of museums and the glimpse into bygone times.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 24, 2020:

This was an enjoyable read. I would love to see the museum. The old farm equipment manufactured during the war effort would be interesting to see as well as the old tools used back then.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 24, 2020:

This museum seems to have many more antiques than I would have expected. I like that old cash register and many other items. I also think the designs on the outside of the building is very nice. I think this is a very good place to visit, Peggy.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 24, 2020:

This museum looks lkke a real find, preserving our heritage for future generations to learn.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 24, 2020:

What a fascinating place, and Katy is, in my mind, a fascinating city. Thanks for introducing me to this prairie gem.