HISTORY

Clear Creek Schoolhouse, built in 1894

The Little Green Schoolhouse, built in 1901

West Bay Common School #13, built in 1898 on its original site in Chambers County

Museum Complex Today

West Bay Common School No. 13 was built in 1898 in Chambers County, Texas. This 18 by 30 foot structure, made of cypress wood, originally had a wood shingle roof. Half of this roof still remains under the present metal roof which was added after the 1915 hurricane. Matt Fisher donated the land and money to have this school built. The building was used as a school until 1936 when only one student attended. That student was sent to the Barbers Hill School and West Bay Common School closed its doors. The schoolhouse was then sold and moved a short distance and made into a three room house. The building later became a storage building for Wilbur and Peggy Anderson.

With the idea to restore a schoolhouse, Richard and Catharin Lewis approached the Andersons and made their request. Because of the 1900 Hurricane, many of the area schools had been destroyed and this one was 45 miles from their home. The building was donated to them, but had to be moved. The Lewis' joined a newly formed organization in League City, the League City Historical Society.

With the help of the League City Historical Society, the one-room school was moved to League City in December of 1992, to the corner of Kansas and Second Street, the former site of two schoolhouses. The first school was built in 1894 with land and building funds furnished by J. C. League, for whom they named the town. Unfortunately the building was destroyed by the 1900 Huricane. With efforts from a Relief Society, the second schoolhouse, called the Little Green Schoolhouse was built in 1901. This school was used until 1980 when it needed a new roof and paint, but was torn down. The third school on this site, West Bay #13 was formally dedicated as the West Bay Common School Children's Museum on October 21, 1993.

Restoration work was done by society volunteers. Much of the material and supplies were donated by local companies and businesses in the area. The Lewis' donated the desks for the schoolhouse. Members who donated the cost of a desk received recognition on a plaque on the desk and their funds were than able to purchase other items for the schoolhouse. Catharin developed a hands-on program and teachers were recruited and trained to present the program to area children and adults. Local event fundraisers and grants helped fund the growth and development of the museum.

We also moved an early business, Salmon Icehouse onto the property in 1994. Volunteers restored the wooden structure and a dedication ceremony was held in 1996 for the Icehouse. The bus barn, a concrete structure on the property went through many changes as the museum grew in visitors. In 1998, the barn was given a new façade of barn wood from the Barger Barn which once stood in League City. The interior had the walls covered and one side divided into two rooms for a front and back office. Later, a door was added to join the two areas at another point to share exhibit space with the front office and gift shop area. A Garden Classroom was added in 2015 to handle larger groups of children now visiting the museum.

The mission of the museum is to make us more aware of our rich history in the United States and Texas andto understand how far we have come in the field of education showing the similarities and differences. Its mission also is to develop some responsibility to future generations of children to reach beyond themselves and to touch the hearts and minds of others.

The purpose of the museum is to preserve an early Texas school building; to preserve the site of two former schoolhouses; to preserve an early business in League City's past; to provide a 'Hands-on-History' experience for children of all ages, and to house the state and local acquisitions of school memorabilia and educational artifacts and to preserve a historical site with local artifacts.

 

210 North Kansas League City, Texas 77573
281-554-2994