Housed in a 1920's Ice House, the Ice House Museum and Cultural Center houses a rotating collection of artifacts and fine art, as well as permanent and temporary exhibits. The Ice House Museum also sponsors events, including music, art festivals, photography and art competitions, and an Education Department to provide onsite guided tours for schools, and home schooled students .
To preserve the historical values of Silsbee and to provide a forum for the community's educational, cultural, artistic and scientific interests. We are a catalyst for cultural respect, continuity and innovation.
The Silsbee Ice House, located at Ernest Avenue, was erected by Gulf States Utilities in 1928. In 1943 ownership was transferred to H.C. Hopkins and C.F. Young. Later, Newton Hopkins took over for his father. At that time Ice House production was about 30,000 tons of ice a week. He later sold the company to Sparkle Ice Company.
When refrigeration was invented, people no longer needed block ice for their ice boxes so demand slowed. The Ice House continued to produce ice, however, for recreational events and a variety of local companies. In 1983, the Ice House closed and remained unused until 1990.
The idea to turn the building into a museum was that of Silsbee resident Helen White. After enlisting a group of like-minded people, the Hardin County Arts and Education Foundation was established.On September 12, 1991, the Ice House received a historical designation from the Texas Historical Commission. With the help of volunteers and donations, the badly deteriorating building was restored to a usable condition, and the volunteers began to acquire permanent works of art and historical pieces for display.
To exhibit the artwork, these volunteers designed a fine art gallery where exhibitions continue to draw art lovers year round. It has featured the works of notable artists such as Rev. Tom K. Simms, Sparky Balla, Betty Iles, Robynna Prescott, Jerry Newman, Roger Ratliff, Goldie Winger, and Kim Allen.
500 Terry Francois Street
San Francisco, CA 94158