After Harvey, one year later: Refugio County Museum staff pauses past to preserve future

REFUGIO, Texas – The damage from Hurricane Harvey has threatened business owners, homeowners and some of the history in Refugio County. 

While the artifacts inside the museum reflect the decades of change Refugio County has felt, some of the exhibits also extend beyond the borders of the county. 

"The state of Texas, I don't think, realizes the importance of Refugio in Texas history," Refugio County museum director Bart Wales explained. 

Wales remembers waiting out the storm in his home last year. He recalls hearing sheets of metal flying behind his home, leaving him feeling unnerved. He says some of his windows were boarded up, but he was prepared. 

"I had my electric screwdriver, a box of screws and my pistol. So I was ready for anything," Wales said. 

Two days after the storm, Wales was able to get to the museum. 

Several exhibits outside took a beating, including the old jail from Tivoli, Texas. The building had just received a new roof. After Harvey, that was pretty much the only piece of the building left intact. A home from the 1870s that sits on the property was also hit hard. 

"It was a classic example and there aren't any of those examples in Refugio anymore," Wales said. 

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