About the Juneteenth Museum

The Custom House

The Custom House was the first building erected by the United States of America for civil uses in the State of Texas. The first session of the United States District Court was held in this building January 1861.

The facility is a 13,666-square-foot two-story building features 25 rooms, including meeting rooms, a kitchen, reception area and several offices.

Juneteenth Historical Marker

Erected by the State of Texas 1998 is located to the left of the historic Galveston Customshouse. The monument highlights that the Emancipation Proclamation was in effect in Texas. That event later celebrated as “Juneteenth” confirmed the end of slavery in the state.


Remembers the valor and devotion of the military combatants and civilian inhabitants of Galveston during the Civil War. On Oct. 9, 1862, a Union naval force landed at Galveston and raised the U.S. flag at the Customhouse, but on Jan. 1, 1863, in the Battle of Galveston, Confederate units under Maj. Gen. J. B. Magruder recaptured the city, utilizing only field artillery and two steamboats protected with cotton bales to defeat Union gunboats and a small infantry force on board the “cotton clad” steamboats, under command of Maj. Leon Smith, were volunteers led by Col. Thomas Green.

The city and its residents were continually under the guns of one side or the other, and occasionally both. From the start of the Union blockade in July 1861 until June 2, 1865, when the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi surrendered at Galveston. For the civilians who remained, life in a city that was essentially an armed camp was difficult and dangerous.

On June 5, 1865, in what Capt. Benjamin Sands of the U.S. Navy called “the closing act of the Great Rebellion”, his forces again raised the U.S. Flag here, finally bringing under Union control the last major port still in Confederate hands. On June 19, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger issued an order in Galveston stating the Emancipation Proclamation was in effect in Texas. That event later celebrated as “Juneteenth” confirmed the end of slavery in the state.

A memorial not only to Texans who served in the military, but also to those who endured hardships at home.

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Description of Offerings

Juneteenth – Digital Art Gallery

Each year, The Custom House – Juneteenth Museum will unveil a collection of original digital artworks by young and well established African American Artists. The digital collection will be reflective of the Juneteenth Museum mission and creative theme for the year. Selected pieces will be included a private auction with an “Unknown” Estimated value.

The museum will maintain a perpetual right to use the image and display a certified true copy and to leverage the image for unrestricted use. Some of the digital displays will be permanent, while others will be replaced on a regular cycle to be determined by the administration.

African American – Hall of Freedom

One of the prominent exhibits planned for the Galveston, Juneteenth Museum is an interactive Hall of Freedom where visitors can experience the social, political, and economic changes impacting civil liberties of all. The Hall of Freedom will highlight Key Moments in African American History on an interactive timeline that will allow visitors to engage in impactful experiences.

June 19 Store – Custom House and Online Retail

The June 19 Store is planned to open its first store in Galveston Texas. The June 19 Store will be a unique retail offering featuring an activity space and immersive digital content to connect with the Juneteenth in a meaningful way.

Tourists visiting Galveston, Texas will find the June 19 Store difficult to miss, a go to spot for Juneteenth memorabilia that cannot be found elsewhere. On select weekends the store will feature live, and streaming performing artists and host a variety events such as book signings and youth activities. It’s our way of sharing the Juneteenth experience with those visiting locally and beyond, we ship in USA and international.

Juneteenth – Events

The city of Galveston in known for events, and the Custom House – Juneteenth Museum experience will reflect a robust experience and offer events inspired by Galveston business as well as domestic and international arts organizations. Our calendar will showcase monthly virtual and live performances as well as several annual events you won’t want to miss. The Custom house is also a great location for weddings, corporate events, other private functions.

Juneteenth – Boutique Hotel

The Juneteenth Boutique Hotel will feature well-appointed rooms decorated with traditional colors to bring out the buildings historic design. Luxury within a historic setting where anyone can come and celebrate Juneteenth heritage. The Custom House offers a perfect setting for business, pleasure, and relaxation. Private viewing times for guest to explore historic African American exhibits. Rooms will feature personal accompaniments and be stocked with premium liquors & craft beers.

Jubilee Restaurant and Bar 19

The Juneteenth dining experience that embraces exceptional cuisine, presentation, quality, and the overall experience, not just the food. It is worth more than one visit, and each time you’ll want to share that you did it.