Carnegie Building

Carnegie Library circa 1910.

In an effort to fulfill the Smith County Historical Society’s mission of preservation and presentation, a wonderful museum is housed in the front rooms of the historic 1904 Carnegie Library building. Although the old Library in-and-of-itself is a historical treasure, the exhibits housed within weave together the history of Smith County, Texas seamlessly through permanent and temporary exhibits.

The Society’s permanent exhibit, 20th Century of Progress, offers a view of the growth of Smith County Texas. From growing crops to roses, and the discovery of oil, this exhibit is full of interesting information, photos and memorabilia from the 1900’s. In addition to our permanent exhibit we will have temporary exhibits of our different collections. Follow our Events found in the About Us section to see our upcoming exhibits.

To commemorate the Centennial anniversary of the entrance of the U.S. in World War I, a temporary exhibit, Wading Through Blood: The Great War & Smith County Men, opened on November 18, 2017, and closed November 12, 2018 after the WWI Armistice Centennial Celebration! For 30 years prior to this WWI Exhibit, the Society was home to individual dioramas ranging from Caddo Indians to our historic Cotton Belt railroad. The slide show below shows the major transformation made to this area to remove the dioramas and create a new transitional space for a variety of exhibits.

The pictures below represent the major changes made to our exhibit gallery in 2017. The dioramas were installed in the early 1980’s with few updates given over the years. They were officially removed September 22, 2017 to create the new temporary exhibit gallery for the Society. By removing these dioramas, the Society was able to repair different aspects of our walls, repaint the space, recarpet, and remove a majority of our window coverings! The space now serves as a versatile open space for future exhibits.