Collin County History Museum prepares new exhibit

Director, archive manager share motivations, current projects

The Collin County History Museum, located in McKinney’s historic downtown, is dedicated to preserving the past, with the leadership of director Kristin Spalding and archive manager Meghan Bedrosian. It is currently closed indefinitely in preparation for the new spring exhibit with an original opening date set in March, “Created in Collin County.”

Designed by architect J. H. Suttle, the 1911 McKinney Post Office is a characteristic and well-preserved example of an Italianate post office, becoming the museum in 1982. Collin County was founded in 1846 when Texas became a state.  It was named after Collin McKinney, who lived in the county and was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Pictured above is the lobby of the Collin County Historical Society and Museum. The museum is currently closed for renovation in preparation for its new exhibition. Managing the exhibit is director Kristin Spalding and archive manager Meghan Bedrosian. (Kalyani Rao)

Meghan Bedrosian, the archive and collections manager, said she is passionate about preserving the past for future generations before it becomes lost to time.

“I majored in history for my undergraduate,” Bedrosian said, “and just recently within the last year, I graduated with my masters in library and information sciences, which has led me to work here.”

Originally the historic 1911 post office, the museum contains historical artifacts, photographs, documents, diaries, maps, archival newspapers and much more.

“I love what I do,” Bedrosian said. “One of the greatest parts (of being an archive manager) is the fact that I have to go through and find all of the items that need to be preserved and protected, and especially digitized, so that we have them for future generations, for researchers, and for ourselves.”

Pictured above are boxes containing files, artifacts and information about objects contained in the museum’s collection. Many of the items owned by the museum are not displayed in the exhibits in rotation. Meghan Bedrosian is the archive and collections manager. (Kalyani Rao)

The museum offers special exhibits, showcasing the heritage and history of the people and events that helped shape McKinney and Collin County.

“I love (the) Collin County History Museum,” Bedrosian said. “We encompass information from the whole region, the small towns. We have county records that you can’t find anywhere else. That’s one of the best parts about working in a museum, in history. It’s like saying someone’s name, or bringing back their past, is bringing them back to life again.”

Director Kristin Spalding said she always loved historical architecture and preservation work.

“I am passionate about preservation,” Spalding said. “I believe that we will learn valuable lessons from knowing how people lived in the years prior to now.”

“I want to tell interesting, relatable stories about the people that lived here,” Spalding said, “in Collin County, specifically.”

The museum is open year-round, Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.  The next exhibit coming up is called “Created in Collin County.”

“(The exhibit) is the stories of things that were created here, art that was created here, music that was created here (and) athletes that trained here,” Spalding said. “We have cafes, entertainment… things that are very memorable to our seniors. I’d like to highlight some of those things, and we’re going to tell some of those stories.”