The Sam Houston Memorial Museum was established in 1936 as a Texas centennial project, funded by the Texas legislature. Since that time the museum has expanded to a complex of fifteen acres situated within a scenic park. On the site are the main museum composed of a rotunda and three wings, containing artifacts relating to Sam Houston, his family, and early life in Texas; Woodland Home, the home that Sam Houston built for his family in Huntsville; Steamboat House, where General Houston died; the Sam Houston law office; and a Museum Gift Shop and Exhibit Hall together with a blacksmith shop. The Houstons' Kitchen, a replica of an 1800's kitchen, was dedicated on June 18, 1994.

Unique among museums in the state of Texas, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum features extensive collections of artifacts relating to Sam Houston's life in Texas, plus a growing collection of documents relating to Sam Houston, politics and government in the area, and pioneer families. The newest addition to the museum complex, the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center, was dedicated on March 2, 1995.

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