San Benito Museums Moving to New Home
SAN BENITO – The four museums of San Benito have shared the same space for the past decade. Each one only has about 300 feet for their exhibits.
The San Benito History Museum, the Texas Conjunto Museum, the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and the Freddy Fender Museum will be moving into a more spacious building.
“Right now, each one had roughly 300-square feet each. So, now over there, it’s going to be 1,000, triple that,” Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame President Rey Avila said.
“We’re real excited about getting a new museum. Room to put everything, to put our history,” Truella Haynes with the San Benito History Museum said.
The new home for the museums has been a long time project for Avila and Haynes. They broke ground for the new facility last month. The new $1.7 million museum will be located next to the current building.
“Knowing our history and our culture will give our children a greater sense of pride in their heritage,” San Benito Mayor Celeste Z. Sanchez said.
“We have a lot of artifacts, a lot of historical things that we don’t have room for here. And so we’re really looking forward to putting out the information that we have,” Haynes said.
“And so far, we’ve inducted about 80 pioneers in conjunto music,” Avila said.
The Conjunto Museum was divided into two areas – the hall of fame and a display for the early recording devices.
“We’ve dedicated this part to the father of conjunto music, Narciso Martinez,” Avila said. “They had to memorize how a redoba went, or a chotize, or a polka because there was no way of recording.”
There’s also the Freddy Fender museum, ‘The Bebop Kid’ before he hit it big, complete with his awards and motorcycle.
The construction has already started for the new building and they’re anticipating it will be completed in September.
“Our town started around 1907, so 2017 is a good date to aim at,” Haynes said.
“It will create a positive, economic impact in our community,” Sanchez said.
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