Storytelling

Past. Present. Future.

Our museum houses artifacts and produces programs which tell three categories of stories:

a. The history and rich culture of the Czech lands from 500 c.e. to present;

b. The story of Czech immigrants in Texas from 1850 to the early 1900s. The memories of the living children and grandchildren of those Czechs and the cultural legacies they preserve today. 

c. The story of Czech-Americans connecting with their identities and families during the Cold War and in today’s Czech Republic. We also strive to recognize the efforts of those who work for a future of continued strong connections between the two countries. 

The Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center is a small niche museum located on the border of the central business district and the historic residence district of Temple, Texas.

It is housed in a charmingly mosaic-tiled 1931 store front located on a main artery through town. Many Temple natives have fond memories of our space, when high school students would gather at the soda fountain of the Northside Drug Store. 

Although the Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center was established as a non-profit entity in 2000, the collection itself had been accumulating since 1963 under the name of the SPJST Library, Archives and Museum.

The SPJST is a fraternal organization in Texas, started by Czech immigrants in the 1800s. A call for donations in the organization’s weekly newspaper resulted in an almost immediate inundation of items from Czech families around the state.

For many years these items were housed in the SPJST facility and curated by volunteers. 

In 2001, the museum opened at its current location next door to the SPJST home office. 

Mission Statement

“The Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center is dedicated to fostering educational, cultural, and genealogical opportunities, specifically as it pertains to people of Czech Heritage. It accomplishes this by providing genealogical material;          sponsoring educational programs; and collecting, researching, preserving, and exhibiting artifacts and manuscripts to implement these programs."

Museum Director: Susan Chandler

 

Beautiful Czech Kroj or costumes are often adorned with glass beading, silver and gold thread, elaborate embroidery or fabric dyed with indigo in a hand-stamped wax-resist design. Each region is represented by a unique kroj design.