Why We’re Here
In 1992, Molly Ward, an eyewitness to the 1937 tragedy that killed 294 when the London School exploded, determined to open a museum to tell the story of this event and keep alive the memory of those who had died and those who had survived the worst school disaster in the history of the United States.
The museum is housed in a historical site located in New London, TX. The building not only housed Charlie’s Drug Store, but also the first Post Office, first City Hall, and first water department of New London. Using volunteer resources, the was renovated and remodeled, and fashioned into a cafe and museum. The cafe opened on April 1, 1995.
The grand opening of the museum was in 1998. Over time, additional donated items were added as deemed appropriate. Space does not allow us to have a rotating exhibit, but we do keep displays in the "Beauty Bar" in the cafe. Past exhibits have included Martha Marshall’s hooked rugs, Joe M. Jones' Boy Scout and Girl Scout memorabilia, James Trammel's carvings, Betty Wagoner’s Santa Claus collection, Joe Freeman’s football memorabilia, Queen Price Garden Club historical documents, and museum volunteer-generated exhibits on local history and facts from the year 1937. We welcome exhibits from anyone who would like to share something.
In 2003, Phase II of the museum opened thanks to the Meadows Foundation and the McMillan Foundation, adding 3200 square feet to the building.
We accept donations of all kinds, including monetary, information and photos about explosion survivors, victims, and witnesses.
Using an all-volunteer staff, we collect, catalog, and preserve items pertaining to the old school and/or the explosion as well as the early community. Our volunteer docents provide educational services to anyone who visits the museum, including school bus tours. In addition, we do speaking engagements when asked, and we participate in community activities to represent the museum.