Our story begins in 1992, with the opening of The Helen Marie Taylor Museum: The Life and History of Waco. Under Ms. Taylor’s direction, the museum brought a new and unique history to Waco, featuring exhibits on the founding fathers, indigenous peoples of the area, the Waco Cotton Palace, and more. For the next 25 years, the museum was available to the community through scheduled tours until the pandemic closed its doors.
When Helen Marie Taylor passed at the age of 98 in 2022, the future of the museum was placed into question….. and with that came the potential for great change. The next two years were spent focusing a new mission, strategic plan, and hiring a full time staff to maintain and care for the museum. Recently rebranded as The Taylor Museum of Waco and McLennan County History, we are dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the area through our collection, education, and community engagement.
While our organization is starting anew in many ways, we acknowledge and value the rich history that allows us to continue our mission. Originally Barron Springs Elementary School, the first African-American school in Waco, our building is one of many historic structures in town. Before the buildings existence, and before colonization forced indigenous people from their land, the area was inhabited by generations of the Waco (sometimes spelled ‘Huaco’ or ‘Hueco’) people.