San Marcos: Calaboose African American History Museum

Originally built as the county jail in 1873, the city of San Marcos acquired the building in 1885 and repurposed it as a community recreation center after the county built a stone replacement jail. The Calaboose (from the Spanish word meaning dungeon or local jail), as it came to be called, was enlarged in the 1940s and used as a World War II United Service Organization (USO) center for African American servicemen at a time when segregation kept black and Anglo soldiers from mingling. Local historian Johnnie Armstead fought to preserve the site and create the museum. 

Calaboose African American History Museum
  • Hours: Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment.
  • Admission: none
  • 200 Martin Luther King Dr., San Marcos, TX
  • 512-353-0124