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The mission of the Stone Fort Museum is to serve the public and Stephen F. Austin State University as an educational center dedicated to providing natural and cultural heritage learning opportunities accessible to a diverse audience. As Nacogdoches’ oldest museum, and as an educational unit of SFASU, the Stone Fort Museum will promote life-long, self-directed learning both through human interaction and interaction with objects and ideas.

The Museum’s interpretive goals are grounded in its two defining roles:

  1. As a Texas Centennial project replicating an important structure in Texas’ history, the Museum will interpret Antonio Gil Y’Barbo’s stone house; including the human and natural history of the region and Texas as they relate to the house, its architecture, its occupants and their stories, the three buildings that comprise its preservation timeline, and the cultural, social and natural history of eastern Texas up to the demolition of the original house in 1902.
  2. As an educational unit of Stephen F. Austin State University and Nacogdoches’ first facility to collect, preserve and exhibit the region’s rich cultural heritage, the Museum will not only be dedicated to the highest standards of museum practice in its operations, but will serve the University and public as an educational resource for best practices in museum science and the role of museums in society.

In support of the above mission and interpretive focus, the Museum selectively collects artifacts which Museum staff determine are useful in interpreting the pre-history and history of East Texas prior to l900 with special emphasis on the Spanish and Mexican periods beginning in 1690 with the establishment of the Spanish Mission Tejas and ending with the overthrow of the Mexican government in 1836 by Texas revolutionists.

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