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Star of the Republic Museum’s new curator seeks to share Texas history with an even wider audience

Lisa Berg previously served as historic sites supervisor for Kansas State Historical Society

October 6, 2016

As the new curator of education at Blinn College’s Star of the Republic Museum, Lisa Berg is excited to introduce new audiences to the rich history of the Texas Republic.

Berg, who started at the museum in September, previously worked for the Kansas State Historical Society and the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic House called Kentuck Knob in Pennsylvania. Berg replaces Anne McGaugh, who recently retired after 18 years at Star of the Republic.

“This job is exactly what I wanted to do coming out of school, and it is in an area of Texas I am very interested in,” Berg said.

A native of Folsom, N.M., Berg earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, with a minor in Spanish. She received a post-baccalaureate degree from Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University in secondary history education. She also earned a master’s degree in American history/museum studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Berg said she was inspired by a high school history teacher who was passionate about Texas history and the Alamo. The Star of the Republic Museum is the only American Alliance of Museums accredited museum in the state and the only museum created by the legislature devoted exclusively to collecting and preserving the material culture of the Texas Republic. Each year, the museum educates approximately 30,000 visitors, including more than 7,400 area public and private school children. Berg would like to build on that success with additional programs to attract an even wider audience.

“History is a true-to-life soap opera, filled with tragic and victorious moments and a wide variety of perspectives,” Berg said. “You have to understand what people really went through to make the state and country what it is today.”

Each year, Blinn attracts families with its annual Night at the Museum, which takes place on Saturday, Nov. 5, this year. The museum also serves as host to the Brazos Valley Regional History Fair, where students from local junior high and high schools present exhibits, performances, historical papers, documentaries, and websites for the opportunity to qualify for the national history fair at the University of Maryland.

The museum also has spearheaded a special project to identify the descendants of the 60 men who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836. To date, more than 2,100 descendants have been identified, and almost 200 have submitted their documented lineages to join a registry that the museum sponsors.

The Star of the Republic Museum was created by the Texas Legislature and is administered by Blinn College as a cultural educational institution. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the material culture of the Texas Republic from 1836-1846 and to interpret the history, cultures, diversity, and values of early Texans.

The museum is located off Highway 105 between Brenham and Navasota on FM 1155 at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. Daily museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.starmuseum.org or call 936-878-2461, ext. 237.