History Of Our Museum
The history of the Texas Maritime Museum can be traced back to the late 1970’s at the Rockport annual Seafair Festival. Maritime enthusiasts would bring out their personal collections of motors, fishing equipment and mounted fish for the public’s view. The establishment of the Museum was a community wide project headed by a few dedicated members who saw the need for a museum dedicated to the preservation of Texas’ Maritime History. The Texas Maritime Museum opened its doors on July 1, 1989.
In 1987 the Texas Legislature named the Texas Maritime Museum the official Maritime Museum of the State of Texas, re-stated in perpetuity in 2007. It is a designated 501(c)3 non-profit, and relies on the generosity of our patrons and members as well as annual fundraisers.
August 5, 2005 marks the Museum’s accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, a significant accomplishment in our history. The Texas Maritime Museum met the highest standard of excellence and achievement through leadership, professional operation, continued commitment to institutional improvement, and public service and accountability through fulfillment of our mission. Less than 5 percent of all museums in Texas have received accreditation.
The completion of the Robert J. Hewitt/ O’Connor Hewitt Foundation Maritime Collections and Education Center was the next phase in the museum’s ongoing commitment to excellence! The exterior was finished in May 2009, and the interior was completed in April 2012. The new facility added a 1,200 square foot education space, and expanded the museum’s collections space exponentially.
As the Texas Maritime Museum, we take great pride in our mission to educate the public about the fascinating and influential maritime history of Texas. Our institution serves as a beacon of knowledge, shedding light on the deep-rooted connection between Texas’s history and its maritime culture. We understand that our state’s history and culture have been profoundly shaped by its ports, shipbuilding, naval traditions, and coastal communities.
Through our engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs, we offer visitors a comprehensive journey through this maritime heritage. We emphasize the pivotal role played by maritime activities in the economic development and cultural fabric of Texas. We ensure that it is preserved and celebrated for generations to come. We invite all to explore the maritime legacy that has left an indelible mark on Texas and take pride in the role it has played in shaping our state’s identity and culture.