Carver Museum and Rosewood Park

We visited two incredible places in East Austin that are rich in history and fun for kids, too: the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center and Rosewood Park.

The Carver Museum, located at 1165 Angelina Street, is dedicated to the collection, preservation, research, and exhibition of African-American historical and cultural material.


The 40,000 sq. ft. facility opened in 2005 and is named after George Washington Carver, prominent African-American scientist and inventor.


The museum is very inviting and easy to navigate. The Juneteenth and Austin African American Families Galleries, as well as a small art gallery, were right behind these doors.


I wasn’t able to take pictures in the main gallery. The kids were interested in the Austin African American Families exhibit, specifically a map of Austin with overlays of where freed slave communities (like Kincheonville in Southwest Austin) developed after the Civil War.


The boys’ favorite part of the museum was the Children’s Gallery, which features African American inventors and scientists.


The museum’s namesake George Washington Carver is highlighted, including this quote, “It has always been the one great ideal of my life to be of the greatest good to the greatest number of people.”


Several other well-known and pioneering African-Americans are featured, like astronaut Mae Jemison.


The Wall of Inventors was a big hit!


The top of each diamond-shaped flap shows the design sketch of an invention. When the flap is opened, you see a brief profile of the inventor.


Another interesting area of the Carver Museum is the section dedicated to the original L.C. Anderson High School, which served Austin’s African American students for decades until it was closed in 1971 during desegregation.


The vintage trophies and other memorabilia are beautifully displayed.


Next, we went outside to find out more about this historic structure adjacent to the museum.


This humble building was Austin’s first main library and it was originally located at Guadalupe and 9th Street. In 1933, it was moved to its present location on Angelina Street and was named the George Washington Carver Library, which served as Austin’s first branch library. You can read more about the library’s history here.


This building is currently not open to the public because it’s being renovated to serve as genealogy center.


While Kealing Park is right next to the Carver Museum, we wanted to check out Rosewood Park since it has a splash pad. We drove less than 1 mile east to 2300 Rosewood Avenue and parked in the Doris Miller Auditorium lot.

As you can see by this description of Rosewood Park when it was “park of the month” in 2012, this park has something for everyone: splash pad, playscape, historic structures, beautiful trees, swimming pool, picnic tables, athletic fields, and more! We headed straight for this shady area by the Rosewood Recreation Center to relax for a few minutes. The recreation center building includes the Bertram-Huppertz house, built circa 1875.


Very close to the recreation center is the Henry G. Madison Cabin, which was built around 1863 on East 11th Street, donated to the City of Austin in 1968, and moved to this site in 1973.


From our shady spot, we could see the Rosewood Pool, which was renovated in 2012. Here are the pool hours and pool fees.


We walked around to the northern section of the park (toward N. Pleasant Valley Road). The boys enjoyed running around and exploring the pavilion area.


We thought this was a really beautiful picnic spot. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a picnic lunch with us!


This sign explained why we saw such a variety of trees. The Catherine Lamkin Arboretum Trail of Trees was dedicated in 1995. It consists of 35 trees total along the Boggy Creek Greenbelt, with 19 trees located in Rosewood Park.


In the summer sun, the playscape looked a little too sweltering for us.


But the splash pad was just right!


Austin Active Kids Opinion: We had fun and learned a lot….what a great combination!
Outing Time: About 2 hours for both the Carver Museum and Rosewood Park back-to-back.
Reminders: Bring a change of clothes and towels if you plan to enjoy the splash pad at Rosewood Park. Your kids will work up an appetite running around, so also pack drinks and snacks.
Both of these locations are venues for Juneteenth celebrations in mid-June so if you are visiting in that timeframe, check community calendars like the Austin Chronicle’s in advance.
Both facilities have free parking. The Carver Museum has free admission and operating hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. It’s closed on Sundays. Rosewood Park is open to the public 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and the splash pad is in operation May 18 – September 8, 2013.
There is a public library, the Carver Branch, at 1161 Angelina if you would like to add a library visit to your outing. has also visited Rosewood Park; read their post here.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: