The town of McAllen, Texas, certainly enjoys an intriguing and vibrant history. And the nonprofit McAllen Heritage Center (MHC) is just the place to learn about it. La Placita, the beautiful downtown building that houses this museum, is itself an historic treasure: It was formerly the McAllen Post Office.
Who Created the McAllen Heritage Center
The idea to build the McAllen Heritage Center originated during the town’s centennial celebration in 2004. The festival commemorating that milestone was so successful that its organizers decided it was time to set up permanent historical exhibitions. Thus, they set up MHC’s founding board early in 2006. One of the most dedicated of these founders was Helen Snider, a woman who had long hoped that McAllen would get its own history museum. Sadly, Helen died before MHC opened, but her spirit lives on in the building and in the mission of its staff. Rick DeJulio was likewise an important part of MHC’s creation. Rick was the center’s founding president and one of McAllen’s most fervent history buffs. DeJulio died of cancer on May 24, 2006, at the age of 58. Marilyn DeJulio, his widow, now serves as an MHC board member. Thanks to the hard work of Helen, Rick, and so many others, MHC opened to the public in June 2008.
Learn the McAllen, TX Story
The Heritage Center tells the McAllen story — with a special focus on the development of its medical and citrus industries — through a variety of approaches. Visitors can admire historically-significant photographs and documents. Other areas display the works of past and current McAllen artists. Children may attend storytelling sessions. And here you’ll find La Tiendita, a gift shop, where you may purchase McAllen-related T-shirts, books, bookmarks, pins, and many other kinds of products.
Where is the McAllen Heritage Center
Admission to MHC is free. The museum is located at 301 South Main Street; it’s across from the J.C. Penney store. It is open Tuesdays through Fridays between 1 and 5 p.m. and on Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Free parking is available behind the building. Finally, you may call 956-887-1904 if you have any questions about the museum or if you would like to reserve a tour for your party.