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Yates Community Archaeology Project



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Mission & Facts

About the Museum
Board of Directors
Museum Progress
Permanent Exhibition
Museum Attendance

About the Museum

The Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum was founded by Olee Yates McCullough and Catherine Roberts in 1995 and incorporated on December 26, 1996. The museum is named for Olee’s father Rutherford B. H. Yates, a printer by trade. The property was originally purchased in 1869 by Rutherford’s father Rev. John Henry “Jack” Yates. It is located in Freedmen’s Town, one of Houston’s most important African- American historic communities.

The Yates museum’s mission is to promote archaeological research, preserve historic structures on original homesteads, promote education, art, printing, and the cultural history of the African Diaspora as well as provide scholarships and internships for students studying architecture, history, and science.  The history of the endangered Freedmen’s Town community will remain vibrant through a permanent exhibit and the study of objects, memories, documentation, education, and outreach.

Rutherford B.H. Yates, Inc., the printing museum, is part of a proposed eighteen project Educational and Cultural Park Corridor© which consist of six historic structures located on 10 archaeological sites. In 2001, the printing museum house was the first residential structure in Freedmen’s Town to receive a historical marker from the Texas Historical Commission. It also has a National Register and City of Houston Protected Landmark designation.

Rutherford B.H. Yates Board of Directors

Grand Founder
Olee Yates McCullough, M.A.
Catherine M. Roberts

Board of Directors
Theophilus Herrington, Ph.D
First Vice President
Albert F. Allong, Ph.D

Second Vice President

Byron D. Cobbin
Sarah A. Trotty, Ph.D.
Kathy M. Ploch, CPA
Luther E. Brown, Jr. M.A
At Large Members
Carolyn A. Burnley
Freda Washington

Jacqueline Allong
Debra Blacklock-Sloan

Advisory [Partial lit]
Willie Trotty, PhD.
Rae Ann Allong, Esq.
Hon. Frances Farenthold
Joan Denkler
Stephen Fox
Willie Lee Gay
Joseph L. Goldman, Ph.D.
Anne Hershiser
Robert Howard
Carol McDavid, Ph.D.
Amilcar Shabazz, Ph.D.
Demetria Shabazz, Ph.D.
Clare Fleming Sprunt
Msgr Patrick K. Wells, Ph.D.

The history of the community remains vibrant through the study of objects, memories, documentation, education and outreach. The museum also encourages the study and enjoyment of collections by scholars, students, and the general public.  Currently we have the following partners that add value to our Mission:

Rice University - Archaeology Field School-Methods Classes-develops exhibit materials for RBHY houses and traveling exhibits. Provides interns for program & exhibit designs at GLEC.
Community Archaeology Research Institute (CARI) – Provides archaeologists for field schools; supervises construction/restoration activities, archives lab work and create exhibits.
HISD-Gregory Lincoln Education Center (GLEC) – RBHY and the CPL manage the exhibits and designs for educational programming in the “Freedmen’s Heritage Room” at the GLEC.
University of Houston-African American Studies Department –Manages the Olee Yates McCullough Scholarship Fund. Provides speakers (historians) for RBHY events
Prairie View A & M University – Provides architectural services including interns for summer programs.
Texas Southern University and Sam Houston State University – History Department- Provide student and alumni volunteers for “Clean & Restore Historic Homestead Days”.
Coalition of Pastoral Leaders of Freedmen’s Town (CPL) – Partners with RBHY for cultural, educational and community events.  CPL provides facilities for special meetings and events. 
Texas Rose Rustlers -Provides Historic plant services.

Museum Progress
Through the generosity of foundations, corporations and many volunteers, the following six (6) National Register Historic homes on ten (10) lots have been saved. These homes are in various stages of restoration similar to the quality of Rutherford B.H. Yates Printing Museum. The homesteads will be restored for adapted reuse as: Health & Business Museum (1898); Museums of Legal Professions & Educators (1907), Green House & Green Classrooms (1869), Office/Gift Shop/Intern Training Center (1895), Barber Shop Museum (1924) and Archaeology Field School Lab (1911).

Permanent Exhibition
The permanent exhibit gallery features a variety of special exhibitions highlighting African- American art and culture of the African Diaspora.

The museum has influenced a very diverse audience with explicit and graphic stories of African- American history in Freedmen’s town within Houston’s Fourth Ward.  In addition, enriching lives by being an important cultural connection for the community