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810 South Fourth Street
Waco, TX 76706

(254) 753-5166

A foundation that preserves and showcases four historic house museums and hosts multiple educational opportunities throughout the year.


5 Reasons to Get Excited About Fall Lecture

Historic Waco

1. The Lecturer: Dr. Michael Parrish is a Bowers Professor of American history at Baylor University.  At Baylor he teaches courses on Texas History, the Civil War, and Religion & War in U.S. History. Dr. Parrish earned his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin where he also worked as a Research Archivist at the LBJ Library and Museum, as well as, teaching in their history department. He is also the author and editor of several books on the Civil War and Southern History. 

2. The Topic: Turbulent Times, Tremendous Growth: Waco's Remarkable Rise after the Civil War. Come hear about how Waco grew after the Civil War in the 19th century and those factors transformed Waco into one of the 20th century leading cities. What you hear may surprise you! 

3. The Location: Lee Lockwood Library and Museum. Built in 1967, this beautiful building is the home to three floors of exhibits focusing around Freemasonry in Europe, North America, and Texas. The beautiful building alone is a reason to come to this lecture. 

4. The Price: FREE. Yes, that is correct. The price for this amazing, can't miss lecture is Free! Zilch, Nothing, Zip, Zero!!

5. It's better than anything on television: Put down those remotes and hit record. There is nothing but re-runs on the television nowadays so don't be a couch potato and come out for the night. You will not only be learning something but also be surrounded by others who share a similar interest. The conversation will be one to remember! 

Ice Cream: A Traditional Summer Treat

Historic Waco

Ice cream has been a summer treat for people of all ages for generations. Commercial ice cream first became available in the United States around 1780 but it wasn't until 1846 with the invention of the ice cream freezer, did this tasty treat become a popular household item. Women of the Victorian era, used magazines such as "Godey's Lady's Book" to submit and share recipes to make for their families. Take your taste buds on a trip back in time and make this dessert recipe for your family, which was originally published in 1862. While making this you can imagine you are Emma McCulloch, who was the woman of the house at McCulloch House, making this dessert for her 10 children!  Check out this recipe and other recipes from the Victorian Era at Bon appetite y'all!

  • 1 quart rich milk
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 6 ounces white sugar
  • 3 tsp. arrowroot (a West Indian herbaceous plant which can be found in a powder form)
  1. Beat eggs and sugar together.
  2. Bring milk to the point of boiling but do not let it boil.
  3. Stir in the arrowroot.
  4. Remove from the fire, adding the eggs and sugar.
  5. Stir briskly to prevent eggs from cooking and set aside to cool.
  6. If flavored with extracts, it should be done just before it is put in the freezer.


7 Reasons to Attend the Hippodrome Anniversay Celebration

Historic Waco

The Hippodrome is opening it's doors in SEVEN days, and Historic Waco Foundation is excited to be the first organization to host an event in the 100 year old theatre.  We are also excited to announce that this event will be a celebration of the theatre's centennial anniversary! The evening will be a special one for many reasons.  Since it's a week out, we thought we'd give you 7 great reasons to hop in on this special moment in Waco history and celebrate one of the most iconic gems of downtown.


1. Sneak Peak Tours
Attendees will participate in docent-led tours throughout the newly renovated theatre, and be able to learn about what parts of the theatre are true to its history, and what parts are exciting new additions.  This will be the first chance for the public to explore the much anticipated theatre!

2. Get Your History Fix
The walls of the Waco Hippodrome have seen a lot throughout the last 100 years, from crowds traveling to Austin Avenue to catch a glimpse of John Wayne, to Elvis trying to discretely enjoy a film with the regulars.  HWF Executive Director Don Davis will paint magical pictures of Waco History surrounding the Hippodrome that will make you appreciate the potential grandeur of downtown Waco even more.

3. Join the Buzz of Downtown Waco
Melissa Green, The Hippodrome's Program Director, will be speaking on the theatre's future.  In case you haven't heard, downtown is filling up with movers and shakers who are bringing a lot of excitement downtown.  You can't seem to get away from people talking about the growth of downtown these days! This event will help you put a face to the name of one of the biggest movers and shakers on Austin.

4. A Second (and Last) Chance to see Les Miserables!
Okay.  So, out of my personal bias for my favorite musical ever, I wanted to save this for last, but I just couldn't wait that long.  The Waco Civic Theatre will be performing selections from their sold-out Les Miserables on stage at the Hippodrome! This means you will be able to see the first performance on the brand new stage, which is special in itself.  It's also important to mention that this musical hasn't only sold out for the entire month of October, but the waiting lists even filled completely up before a lot of people (like me) were able to even think about it! Come hear some of your favorite selections from Les Mis, from love songs to war anthems, and get lost in the timelessness of the theatre.

5. Treat Your Tastebuds
The event will have appetizers, beer, and wine served throughout the evening.  The appetizers will be prepared by the Hippodrome Restaurant, so now is the time to listen to the curiosity in your head nagging you to try all the newest places in town!

6. Special Downtown Promotions Just for You!
Speaking of trying out new places, your Hippodrome Ticket will act as a coupon to go out for dinner or more drinks after the Hippodrome event! You can walk into Muddle, Portofinos, Klassy Glass, Ninfas, Kuma, and a couple other places downtown, and receive an exclusive deal just for Hippodrome attendees - Free queso, free cocktails, $5 off a bottle of wine... This is so worth it! The only hard part will be deciding where to go! HWF and the Hippodrome are excited to use this event as a platform to brag about all of the good things coming to downtown and to encourage you to join in!

7. Support Local Non-Profits
This event will be benefiting HWF (surprise!). This is exciting, though! By coming to this event, you help us preserve the fascinating history of downtown and continue to celebrate other core preservers, such as Shane and Cody Turner.  You help us hold community events, family education programs, and summer camps.  Finally, you help us unite McLennan County in its pride and identity and invest in its future. Explore our site to learn more about what all HWF does!


Call (254) 753 - 5166 if you would like to buy tickets and/or be an event sponsor.
We look forward to seeing you on the 4th!

Victorian Funeral Cakes

Historic Waco

As far back as the Paleolithic era, funerals have had an intimate relationship with food. Early funeral services may have included using a corpse as a table to eat off of. The Victorians had their own version of funeral feasting -- funeral biscuits. Wrapped in wax paper, these cakes were given to friends & family who attended a deceased person’s funeral service. The paper often had a note attached to it with the deceased’s name, age, and a mourning poem.

If you would like to gain some hands on experience learning about Victorian funeral customs, we suggest making your very own funeral biscuits at home! Below is an 1860s recipe that was published in the New York Times. We highly recommend you use aluminum foil cups to bake these in, as the sugar makes the cakes stick to the pan.  If you want to go more period authentic, squares of parchment paper would be appropriate for baking them. 

Victorian Funeral Cakes - As published in the New York Times
Total time: 35 minutes        Yield: 18 cakes

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar              1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour              1/4 cup butter, melted, cooled
1 tablespoon baking powder             1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten            1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
aluminum cup papers, or parchment paper for lining


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a medium-size bowl, mix sugar, flour and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until mixed.

3. Fill cups halfway. Bake on the middle level of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Immediately remove the cakes from the pan, and let cool on racks for 15 minutes. Sift confectioners' sugar over each cake.


5 Reasons To Get Excited For The Fall Lecture

Historic Waco

As you may or may not know, every year, Historic Waco Foundation has two lectures on the history of Waco.  The most recent one was on "The Dark Side of Waco History," and as you can imagine- It was a hit! Waco's history is full of twists and turns, and up's and downs.  It truly never gets old browsing through pictures and stories of Waco's past.  Well, now it is time for HWF's fall lecture.  Dr. Patricia Ward Wallace will be returning to speak, and her topic this time around will be, "The 1950's: Happy Days in Waco?" We're getting excited for tomorrow, and so should you.  Here's five reasons why:

  1. The Lecturer: Dr. Patricia Ward Wallace is back again, and she is phenomenal.  Countless people are still talking about how much they enjoyed the Spring lecture, because of how fiery, interesting, and entertaining Dr. Wallace is.  Hearing her deliver a lecture is a special for many reasons.  Though she did complete her Masters of Arts and Ph.D. at UT, she went on to teach at Baylor University (Sic 'em!) where she served in many capacities and received many honors as a professor.  She is the author of numerous books, such as "Waco: A Sesquicentennial History" and "Centennial: An Illustrated History of The Methodist Home."  Additionally, she has been extremely involved with the city of Waco over the years and has served the community through many avenues, boards, and committees.  We have no doubt she has something great up her sleeve for tomorrow. 
  2. The Topic: What comes to your mind when you think of Waco in the 1950's? Waco rose to its cultural, economic, and just all around "cool" peak in the early 50's and was then slammed by the '53 Tornado.  The 1950's was one of the most complex, shaping decades in Waco history.  It was filled with fun, horror, dancing, and trauma.  You have to admit you want to hear more.
  3. The Refreshments: There will be coke floats provided.  All that needs to be said there.
  4. The Location:  The lecture will be held at Lee Lockwood Library and Museum - Yes.  That beautiful building on Waco Drive that you cruise past frequently and always wish you could have time to go inside.  Well here is your chance to soak up the building and see all of the beautiful parts inside.  
  5. The Price: It's free.  See you there!