Episode 47: Preserving Houston’s Past with The Heritage Society

Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of Houston’s history with the one and only Mister McKinney! He’s Houston’s most amazing and fun historian and marketing director of The Heritage Society. He joins our host Blanca Quezada to discuss everything The Heritage Society offers visitors, including the historical homes that are beautiful collections on display at Sam Houston Park.

As a passionate historian, he wants everyone to know all about the historical homes, who owned them, and how they ended up at the park. He also discusses educational programs for adults, children, and educators, exhibitions on display, calendar of events, field trips that are offered, and volunteering.

Mister McKinney’s goal is to tell Houston’s story so that we can see and learn about what happened in the past and who were the people that helped to create the city that we now live in. He inspires us to treasure the city’s past, and he always takes the opportunity to celebrate Houston’s history and tell its story.

Mister McKinney is also known for his open-air yellow school bus, known as Houston’s History Bus, that he uses to provide tours to different historic locations around Houston.

To learn more about The Heritage Society, visit: www.theheritagesociety.org or call


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Note: AI generated.

[00:01:53] Mister McKinney has been doing historical tours in Houston since 2002 and is involved in various organizations, including The Heritage Society. He discusses the history of the Kellum-Noble House and the significance of the location in downtown Houston.

[00:03:57] Houston’s continuous growth has led to a never-ending supply of stories. The Houston Public Library’s Texas Room is a treasure trove of historical records. Exploring maps and old newspapers allowed a visual understanding of Houston’s expansion. The city’s housing stock and neighborhoods also tell a story of development. The desire to preserve the past led to involvement in storytelling and educating others about Houston’s history.

[00:07:11] Mister McKinney discusses Houston’s remarkable growth and history, emphasizing the importance of preserving its historic buildings and using them as teaching tools. The Heritage Society is highlighted for its collection of 10 historic structures, which allows for the telling of diverse cultural stories within the city. Notable buildings mentioned include the Nichols Rice Cherry House and the Yates House.

[00:12:36] The Heritage Society offers tours, special events, and exhibits, including the Red Book exhibit. The gallery space has been renovated and is always air-conditioned.

[00:17:36] They discuss the importance of a permanent mural and exhibit in downtown Houston that focuses on the history of the Mexican American experience. They also mention the contributions of Mexican Americans to the city and the educational programs offered by the Heritage Society, including tours and field trips. Additionally, they talk about a Taylor Swift exhibit and Houston’s diversity and welcoming nature.

[00:27:25] The homes are invaluable teaching tools and gifts to the city. The public’s help and support is needed to preserve them. The organization is a nonprofit in need of resources and funds.

[00:30:37] The Heritage Society preserves historic homes, including two near Minute Maid Park, and charges a nominal admission fee for exhibits. Free events are also offered. The future of a blue house is still being determined.

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