The museum’s Board of Directors invite the public to join them in welcoming her Thursday on the night of the downtown Longview “Art Walk.”
Appetizers and beverages will be served at the museum, 214 N. Fredonia St., from 4 to 7 p.m. and those attending are invited to enjoy the new exhibit, “Sports Legends of Gregg County,” and a display of old Packard autos.
Ms. Howerton worked for the Upshur Clerk’s Office from May 2007 to September 2008. She will leave her post as a contact representative for the Social Security Administration’s Longview office, where she has worked the past three years.
Ms. Howerton and her 4-year-old daughter, Isabelle, live in the Gilmer area. A Dallas native, Raina Howerton has lived in Upshur County for nearly 16 years and is the daughter of county resident Connie Howerton.
During part of her time as a student at Longview’s LeTourneau University in 2008-09, she was an intern at the museum as “I’ve always loved history,” she told this reporter as we toured the facility Thursday. “I just loved being here.”
When the directorship job became open, she said, museum officials remembered her and contacted her to be among the applicants for the post. “They interviewed quite a few people. . . (a) lot of highly qualified applicants” before choosing her, said Ms. Howerton.
She said she was “humbled and excited” to be selected because the museum, located in quarters which once housed Citizens National Bank, “does very important work.”
In a press release, museum officials said Ms. Howerton’s “considerable experience in government, management, events and computer programs give her the qualifications to enhance and improve the current operations of the museum.”
Ms. Howerton holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/English/Political Science and a Master of Business Administration degree, from LeTourneau, where she was an honors graduate.
The museum, located in the more than 100-year-old Everett Building downtown, contains exhibits of such historic items as numerous photographs, old firearms and swords, German Nazi military memorabilia from World War II, an old control board used for broadcasting from KFRO Radio, military uniforms from past eras, and newspapers from many decades ago, among many other items.
Some of those other items include The Dalton Gang exhibit (dealing with the time they tried to rob a Longview bank), and an oral history collection.
The museum has operated since 1984. A brochure for it said that “Exhibits illustrating the development of Gregg County include those centered on timber, farming, oil, railroads, schools, business, and commerce.”
In addition, the museum said it reaches out to about 4,000 third and seventh grade schoolchildren yearly through its education program.
The institution also highlights many events yearly promoting history and tourism, ranging from traveling exhibits and Black History Month to Dalton Days/Wild West Show and a Living History Christmas, among others.
The museum is also in the midst of a 2-phase, $3 million “New Century Capital Campaign” to renovate and upgrade the museum. The first $100,000 phase has been completed.
Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturdays.
Admission, normally $2 for adults and $1 for senior citizens and students, is free during the sports legends exhibit through Aug. 17.
Saturday hours during that period are 11 to 4.