By Roschelle Springfield,
ASLM Museum Manager
WOODVILLE – October 1, 2022, marked the 56th anniversary of the Allan Shivers Library and Museum dedication and opening to the public. The more than half century of serving the patrons of Tyler County and the East Texas area has seen many changes. The original courtyard with Clyde Gray tiles has been enclosed to make a children’s room for books specifically chosen for young readers, weekly story time and other activities for children.
The Bunch Reading room is used for meetings, special group crafts and group activities, as well as an additional area for reading. All the books in that room are large print editions. The Study room is the newest addition to the library and is a smaller space available for meetings and a quiet place for studying or doing research.
The museum, housed in the 1881, R.A. Cruse home that was moved to the current site, shares its history of the Cruse family in Tyler County while displaying the extensive collection of Woodville’s own Governor Allan Shivers’ books, photographs, collections, and memorabilia from his terms in office and across his lifetime. The permanent exhibits in the museum are exclusively those relating to the Shivers.
The Shivers family never lived there but purchased and gave the house to Woodville and Tyler County for use as a Library and Museum to preserve his legacy. The mission statement for the museum is, The Allan Shivers Museum invites the public to step into the life, career, and accomplishments of Governor Allan Shivers to preserve, educate, and share his role in contributing to the history of Texas. (Also note, “Allan” does not have an “e”).
Presently, the museum is closed to the public for renovation and a complete overhaul to reorganize and display items from the Shivers family not previously on exhibit. Besides the permanent Shivers collection, the museum plans to begin hosting special, short-term exhibits to share with the public. Having been awarded a grant from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, the museum will reopen with an elevator allowing visitors with physical challenges to view the entire museum experience on both floors.
Mark your calendar: there will be a library/museum sneak peek open house and Christmas exhibit, Friday, Dec. 2, to coordinate with other Christmas in Tyler County events that weekend.
The full library and museum complex will have a grand re-opening in early February to share the improvements and additional services available to patrons. Come be a part of this extraordinary gift and continue the second half century of the Allan Shivers Library and Museum with us.