MCB is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. We're continuing to work to keep you connected and engaged. MCB staff members are posting educational activities online, and implementing strategies to document the Coastal Bend's response to COVID-19. Check the museum's website and social media outlets often. Watch for a link to our new blog, where you can share your experiences with us.
The exhibit examines the varying roles of VC since its inception in 1925. Learn how VC responded to student and community needs and outside influences such as wars, social movements, and the economy. Sponsored by VC Foundation.
In 1684, the French explorer La Salle constructed La Belle, a small vessel never intended for an ocean crossing, when his cargo exceeded the three ships allotted for his Gulf of Mexico expedition. Experience the cramped conditions undergone by the crew and passengers while you stand inside the to-scale outline of the ship's deck created on the museum grounds. This permanent outdoor exhibit is funded by a DOW Seadrift Operations Community Gives Grant through VC Foundation.
The permanent exhibits are constantly refreshed with new artifacts and information. Several La Belle shipwreck artifacts have been recently added, included a numbered ship's timber.
With 3D printing, the Museum of the Coastal Bend has recreated the 13,000-year-old technology of a Polyhedral Clovis core, allowing new ways of interpretation. Come see the earliest stone technology found in North America and see if you can tell the difference between the replica and the original artifact!
This installation of iconic ranching photographs from the Texas Coastal Bend is on display at the Victoria College Emerging Technology Complex, 2nd floor. Photographs are drawn from the museum’s popular temporary exhibit, Cattle Boom!
Our permanent exhibit displays the last 13,000 years of Texas history, from the first inhabitants of the Coastal Bend region through the French, Spanish, and Mexican colonial efforts, up to the range of diverse inﬂuence that have created the modern Texan culture.
Some of the highlights of the exhibit include:
When the Egyptian pyramids were being built, people had already been living in the Coastal Bend for more than eight thousand years. When people moved to the Coastal Bend, no one on the planet had agriculture. Come explore the long and rich history of people in the Coastal Bend, including one of the oldest cemeteries in the United States. Learn about sites worked on by the museum’s research team that are continuing to expand our knowledge about human life in the area.
The Museum of the Coastal Bend’s Fort St. Louis exhibition explores several subjects relating to the first French settlement in Victoria County and the first European settlement in Texas. From French explorer LaSalle’s early expeditions to life at Fort St. Louis and the archaeological research on these subjects, each segment of this amazing story is told through informative scholarly written text panels, photographic images, and original artifacts found at the site.
The centerpiece exhibit in the Museum’s gallery is the exhibit of seven of the eight cannons brought to Texas by French explorer La Salle. The eighth cannon is on exhibit at the State History Museum in Austin. The Fort St. Louis cannons are the focal point of MCB’s exhibits.
Artifacts recovered from La Salle’s ship La Belle which sank in nearby Matagorda Bay, including munitions and personal items from the explorers.
La Salle’s French settlement was viewed as a threat by the Spanish, who almost immediately began to settle Texas, forming the unique Hispanic culture South Texas enjoys today. See objects from this early Spanish period, including swords, jewelry, and even a pot for making hot chocolate!
We’re planning for the future! MCB’s popular temporary exhibits, Before The Cowboy and Cattle Boom! will be the basis for the permanent exhibit, Where Texas Ranching Began. A new exhibit hall, located on the east side of the museum’s existing building, is proposed for construction. See the Master Plan here.masterplan
If you're looking for an overview of the history contained inside the museum to read before visiting or pull up on phone while touring the museum, look no further. Each of the links below will open an exhibit guide for the designated topic.