LCRA, City of Goldthwaite award $25,000 grant for repairs to Mills County Historical Museum


Project will improve structural integrity and look of building’s exterior limestone wall

LCRA and City of Goldthwaite representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Mills County Historical Museum for structural repairs to the museum. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: John Palacio, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Laura Wilson, museum supporter; James Knight, Jan Hartwell and Tommy Head, museum board members; Don Kissire, museum board president; Rose Head, museum board member; Robert E. “Rob” Lindsey III, city manager; Gayle Smith, museum board member; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Courtenay Smith, museum board member; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Leslie Hammond, museum board member; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Brenda Brooks, museum board secretary and treasurer; Sylvia Bindle, museum office manager; Jett Johnson, Mills County judge; and Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.
GOLDTHWAITE, Texas – Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Goldthwaite, the Mills County Historical Museum will make critically needed repairs to a distinctive exterior rock wall.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $11,750 in matching funds from the museum, will pay for work to ensure the wall’s structural integrity. The lower section of the wall was built in 1893 and an upper section was added in 1906. The mortar securing the limestone has worn away over time, making the wall unstable.

“As the mortar keeps flaking out, the wall deteriorates further and more rocks fall out,” said Don Kissire, president of the museum’s board of directors. “You might be able to stick your hands between the rocks now. The repair company will scrape out that old, inferior mortar and replace it with good mortar. It’s a slow, tedious job.”

Kissire said two other buildings in Goldthwaite have undergone similar repairs in the past two years, with good results. He also noted that the museum is located behind two prominent features in Goldthwaite – an eye-catching mural and a windmill made from blades from a local ranch.

“The No. 1 thing here is making the wall and building structurally sound, but the repairs also make the outside of the building a lot more pleasing to the eye,” Kissire said. “We’ve wanted to do this for some time, and this grant is a godsend. It allows us to get the project done with the money we can put toward it. My reaction to the news was, ‘Hallelujah!’ We’re thrilled we get to do the work.”

Located in one of Goldthwaite’s first stone buildings, the Mills County Historical Museum has been in operation for more than 40 years and offers free admission. The museum features natural history exhibits and historical period rooms that include a post office, a general store, a dentist’s office and a schoolhouse.

The building also houses local genealogical records and provides meeting space for many community groups.

“The first description of the museum that comes to mind is we hold the history of the county,” Kissire said. “Probably 90 to 95 percent of these artifacts are from residents of Mills County, and we all feel real strongly that we’ve been given the care of these artifacts.”

The community grant is one of 44 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. The City of Goldthwaite is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

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

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

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