Pg2 11-11 Sinton Museum Receives Grant_1.jpg

LCRA representatives present a $6,670 grant to the Sinton Historical Museum for new doors to help protect and preserve its exhibits. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured are, from left, LCRA Grants Program Manager Sheila Slagel, Sinton Historical Museum Director Irma Cantu, Sinton Historical Museum President Trisha Marion, Sinton Historical Museum Vice President Richard Salazar and LCRA Grants Program Administrator Liz Mundine. 

The Sinton Historical Museum recently received some good news in the form of a check to help preserve the items currently on display.

The museum was given a $6,670 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) which will allow the Sinton museum to install modern exterior doors that will improve the museum’s appearance, heighten its security and lessen the risk of environmental damage to its exhibits.

Coupled with matching funds of $1,667, the Community Development Partnership Program grant will pay for a trio of double-paned glass doors designed to keep ultraviolet rays, wind and rain from damaging the museum’s contents. The doors will be installed within the museum’s distinctive façade, which includes green ceramic tiles and clear glass blocks.

Museum Director Irma Cantu said the museum’s doors appear to date back to the 1940s and are original to the building.

“We’ve had them refurbished twice, but they’re just so worn,” Cantu said. “We need to replace them with more modern, more secure doors that don’t need as much maintenance.”

Cantu added that the old doors also don’t seal tightly, causing problems for the museum.

“We’re near the Gulf Coast so we get a lot of tropical storms, and the rain blows into the museum,” she said. “In the summer, the hot wind comes in; in the winter, the cold air comes in.

“It’s hard to maintain a consistent temperature and that’s bad for the artifacts. This causes them to dry up or they get damp and start warping.”

Founded in 2007, the museum showcases artifacts and mementos from Sinton and San Patricio County, with much of the collection donated or loaned out by area residents. One military-themed exhibit includes a U.S. soldier’s World War I uniform, including a saddle bag that carried a gas mask placed on horses at the front lines.

The museum’s three exhibition rooms also have a display remembering the Plymouth Oilers, a former semi-pro baseball team based in Sinton and sponsored by Plymouth Oil. The Oilers existed from the 1940s up until 1957, and in 1951 became the first team from Texas to win the National Baseball Congress championship. The team played at a lighted stadium – a rarity at the time – and won a second NBC championship in 1957.

Their championship trophy from that tournament is on display at the museum, along with team photos and an original uniform.

The museum also presents guest speakers and welcomes high school and family reunions.

“This museum is an active part of the community,” Cantu continued. “This project will improve the appearance of the front of the museum, which will make it more pleasing to passersby. It’s another part of beautifying our downtown.”

The community grant is one of 32 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

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