Organizational Description

Palacios Area Historical Association (PAHA), was incorporated in 1982 as a 501(c)3 non profit organization in the City of Palacios , Matagorda County , Texas . It is governed by a Board of Trustees that is elected by the general membership at an annual meeting. PAHA operates the City by the Sea Museum to carry out its work. It relies on grants and donations to support that work, as well as on the generosity of volunteers who give of their time, energy, skills and talent as docents, event organizers, exhibit designers, and collection managers. It operates a gift shop in the Museum and employs a Museum Coordinator.


The mission of the Palacios Area Historical Association is to operate a museum as a functional resource center for visitors to experience and learn from the region’s diverse cultures and history. The Museum collects, conserves and interprets the material evidence of the prehistory, history and natural history of Palacios , Texas and the surrounding region; including along the shores of and in the adjoining waters, with emphasis on the social and cultural history of this area. This serves to preserve the past, record the present and provide perspective for the future.

Our Building

The building which houses the Museum was built in 1910 by R. J. Hill as a mercantile. It has been a venue for traveling entertainers, a bar during WW II, a flooring shop, Montgomery Wards, and a gift shop. Upstairs there were doctor and dentist offices, a canning program during the Depression, then apartments for STP construction workers. The Palacios Area Historical Association bought the building in 1986. Restoration of the building began in 2006. It was reopened to the public on July 3, 2009 as part of the city’s centennial celebration. The Building has a Texas Historical Marker dedicated in 2000 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, receiving that distinction in 2009.

The Palacios Area Historical Association is an equal opportunity employer.