Beaumont Heritage Society
The Beaumont Heritage Society is organized for educational and civic purposes, to preserve and assist in the preservation of landmarks, (including but not limited to the John Jay French House), documents, pictures, names, mementos, and instruments of historical value, and to preserve the natural beauty of Beaumont, Texas.
Our organization has been in existence since 1967 when concerned citizens saw the need to curb the rampant destruction of historic structures in the city. At that time, with a matching grant from the Beaumont Junior League, we acquired and restored the John Jay French House, which now operates as a unique museum to demonstrate the life of a prosperous Texas pioneer family from 1845-1865. The historic pioneer settlement, built by John Jay French, tanner and merchant, is replete with antique furnishings, clothing and pioneer household utensils. Outbuildings on the grounds include a blacksmith shop, tannery, privy and smokehouse.
In 1990, the Society acquired and restored the David French House, circa 1850, which now serves as offices. Our most recent project is our second historical house museum, the Chambers House. We oversaw the restoration of the Chambers House and it opened for tours in May of 2007. We have also been responsible for helping develop programs such as: SPARE Beaumont, "Beaumont, USA Our Built Environment", Landmark Commission, and preservation efforts of Munro House, the Dixie Hotel, and the Tyrrell Historical Library.
In addition to our general museum services, we provide tours for students as a part of the Texas history curriculum; Christmas tours at both museums; summer camp; Heritage Happy Hours; our annual Moonlight Masquerade Ball; and other miscellaneous events and services. We have also recently been involved in preserving two historical houses in the city of Beaumont that were slated for demolition. The Beaumont Heritage Society will continue to work to become a strong voice for preservation of the community.