For 60 years, Salado Museum and College Park has been preserving local history. The museum will celebrate its anniversary Saturday with an open house and dedication ceremony in memory of its founder.
Dave Swarthout, executive director of the museum, said the entire museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the public to visit the exhibits and look at changes that have been made to the facility.
A more formal reception will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the Hall of Clans. The museum will honor its founder, Lucile A. Robertson, by renaming the hall and the building itself in her honor. The dedication ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Wine and light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are welcome but not required.
Swarthout said Robertson’s family members and local dignitaries will attend the reception, including Salado Mayor Skip Blancett, who will read a proclamation.
He said there will also be a presentation of a sign renaming the hall and the building The Lucile A. Robertson Center.
“And we’ll have a little program sharing some of her stories,” Swarthout said. “We came across an audio taped interview of her. I don’t remember what year, but it was quite some time ago because she passed away in 1997 after founding the museum and being instrumental in putting forth the effort to preserve the Salado (College) ruins. So it will be a short, brief history of her, too.”
Lucile Robertson founded the Central Texas Area Museum in 1959 to preserve the local history and commemorate the early pioneers who settled in Salado. The museum opened in a historic stone building at 423 S. Main St., across the street from the Stagecoach Inn. In the 1970s, additions were built around the original building to create the two-story structure as it appears today.
The museum was renamed Salado Museum and College Park in 2017 when it merged with the Robertson Colony-Salado College Foundation.
Swarthout said the hall’s renaming is long overdue.
“And everybody seems to be in agreeance with that and really excited about the renaming and the dedication to it,” he said.
Swarthout added that it’s a standing belief for museum staff and volunteers that Lucile Robertson never left the building, and her ghost is ever present in the museum. He said she was very particular in the way she wanted items displayed in the museum.
“Sometimes we would move something only to come back the next day or two and it would be moved back to the location that we had moved it from,” he said. “So it’s kind of an inside joke that her ghost or her spirit is still there and watches over everything, and if we get too far out of her way of thinking and everything, she corrects it.”