As a history enthusiast, I recently had the pleasure of visiting the East Terrace Museum in Waco, Texas.
Operated by the Historic Waco Foundation, this museum is a must-visit for those interested in the history of Waco and Texas. The East Terrace Museum is located on Mill Street and stands as a beautiful example of Italianate-style architecture.

The museum was once the home of John Wesley Mann, an industrialist who moved to Waco from Tennessee in 1858. Mann constructed the East Terrace House as a gift for his bride, Cemira, and it served as their family home for years. Today, the East Terrace Museum offers the public a glimpse into the life of one of Waco’s prominent families.

Inside the museum, visitors can explore beautifully restored rooms and discover the Mann family’s history and their contributions to Waco. The museum also features a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history of the region. Whether you’re local or visiting, anyone interested in Waco and Texas history must visit the East Terrace Museum.

History and Significance: East Terrace Museum in Waco

As someone who has visited the East Terrace Museum in Waco, I can attest to its rich history and significance. The museum is more than just a beautiful Italianate-style mansion overlooking the Brazos River. It’s a tribute to the Mann family’s resilience and ingenuity, shaping the house into a cherished home.

The East Terrace Museum in Waco stands tall, surrounded by lush greenery. Its grand architecture and historical significance are evident in the intricate details of the building's facade

Founding of East Terrace

John Wesley Mann, a future industrialist who moved to Waco from Lebanon, Tennessee in 1858, built the East Terrace Museum in 1869. He initially raised horses before joining the Confederate Army in 1861 as a private in Company G, Sixth Regiment, Texas Cavalry. After the war, Mann returned to Waco and became involved in politics and business. He eventually became a prominent figure in the community, serving as mayor of Waco from 1876 to 1877.

John Wesley Mann and the Mann Family

In addition to being a successful businessman and politician, John Wesley Mann was also a devoted family man. Moreover, he and his wife Mary had nine children, all of whom grew up in the East Terrace House. Furthermore, the Mann family, renowned for their hospitality and generosity, frequently hosted events and gatherings at their home. Additionally, they demonstrated a commitment to education, with several of their children attending Baylor University.

Historic Waco Foundation’s Role

The Historic Waco Foundation, dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Waco, has beautifully restored and now operates the East Terrace Museum. The East Terrace House stands as a shining example of their efforts. The museum offers visitors a glimpse into the life of a prominent 19th-century family and the history of Waco itself. It is an important part of the city’s heritage and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and preservation.

In conclusion, the East Terrace Museum is a fascinating and significant piece of Waco’s history. From its founding by John Wesley Mann to its restoration by the Historic Waco Foundation, the museum is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Mann family and the dedication of those who seek to preserve Waco’s rich cultural heritage.

Architecture and Grounds: East Terrace Museum in Waco

The stunning Italianate Villa style of the mansion struck me as soon as I walked up to the East Terrace Museum. The architecture is simply breathtaking, with its symmetrical design, tall windows, and ornate details. The mansion, meticulously preserved over the years, stands as a true gem in the heart of Waco since its construction in 1873.

The East Terrace Museum in Waco features Victorian architecture and well-maintained grounds

Italianate Villa Style

The Italianate Villa style exudes grandeur and elegance. The East Terrace Museum is a perfect example of this style, with its tall, narrow windows, ornate details, and symmetrical design. As I walked through the rooms of the museum, I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail in every aspect of the design of the mansion, from the intricate moldings to the beautiful woodwork.

Gardens and Acreage

As I walked through the gardens overlooking the Brazos River at the East Terrace Museum, I couldn’t help but marvel at the meticulous maintenance and the variety of plants and flowers on display. The acreage surrounding the mansion is also impressive, with plenty of space for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Restoration Efforts

The preservation of the East Terrace Museum is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the preservationists who have worked tirelessly to maintain the mansion over the years. The museum has undergone several restoration efforts over the years, including a major restoration in 1966 by Raiford L. Stripling. Thanks to these efforts, the mansion remains in excellent condition and is a true treasure of Waco.

Anyone interested in architecture, Italianate Villa style, acreage, or preservation must visit the East Terrace Museum. The mansion is a true gem in the heart of Waco and is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

Collections and Exhibits: East Terrace Museum in Waco

As a museum with a mission to preserve the history and heritage of Waco and McLennan County, East Terrace Museum has an impressive collection of furnishings and artifacts that reflect the historical lifestyle and cultural practices of the area.

The East Terrace Museum in Waco displays historical collections and exhibits

Furnishings and Artifacts

The museum’s permanent collection features furniture, decorative arts, and artifacts used by the Mann family, who resided in the East Terrace House from 1867 to 1908. Visitors can view original furnishings, including a rare 1870s Steinway grand piano and Victorian-era clothing. Additionally, the museum houses household items, tools, and equipment, offering insight into daily life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Rotating Exhibits

Furthermore, East Terrace Museum hosts rotating exhibits that highlight various aspects of Waco’s history and culture alongside its permanent collection. These exhibits change regularly, ensuring that visitors can always find something new and interesting to see.

Recent exhibits at the East Terrace Museum have delved into “Waco’s Debutantes,” exploring debutante balls in the city, and “Waco at War,” focusing on its World War II contributions. The museum also hosts special events and programs throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and tours.

The collections and exhibits at East Terrace Museum provide a captivating glimpse into the history and culture of Waco and McLennan County. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the past, this museum is certainly worth a visit, offering a fascinating journey through time.

Visitor Information: East Terrace Museum in Waco

If you’re planning to visit the East Terrace Museum in Waco, Texas, here’s what you need to know.

This is a historic building with a grand entrance and large windows. The surrounding area is landscaped with colorful flowers and lush greenery, creating a peaceful and inviting atmosphere

Tour Scheduling and Tickets: East Terrace Museum in Waco

Tours of the East Terrace Museum are available by reservation only. You can schedule your tour online or by calling us at (254) 753-5166. We recommend scheduling your tour at least a week in advance to ensure availability.

Adults pay $10 for general admission tickets, while children pay $5. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and military personnel with valid ID.

Events and Programs: East Terrace Museum in Waco

In addition to our regular tours, we offer a variety of special events and programs throughout the year. These include lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities for all ages. Check our website or follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on upcoming events.

Community Engagement: East Terrace Museum in Waco

At the East Terrace Museum, we believe in the importance of educating the public about Waco’s rich history. That’s why we offer educational programs for schools and community groups. Our programs are designed to be engaging and interactive, and can be tailored to the needs of your group.

We also welcome volunteers and interns who are interested in learning more about museum operations and preservation. If you’re keen on participating, please reach out to us for further details.

Whether you’re local or visiting Waco, we can’t wait to welcome you to the East Terrace Museum.