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New Boomtown director looks to future

Jeanna Summy is the new Spindetop Gladys City/Boomtown Museum director. Courtesy photo.
Jeanna Summy is the new Spindetop Gladys City/Boomtown Museum director. Courtesy photo.

Jeanna Summy became the new Spindletop Gladys-City Boomtown Museum director, Jan. 3.

“An opportunity became available here at the museum,” Summy said. “I was very excited to work with the community but also work with the University in higher education.”

Summy graduated from the University of Texas-San Antonio with a degree in community health, and was a social worker for seven years.

“I would say I feel really strongly about community and community advocacy,” Summy said. “Social work is very challenging, but it’s very rewarding. And your number one goal with that is you want to help people and you want to be a resource to people.”

Summy later worked in admissions and advising for higher education. She worked in Houston before moving to Lamar University in October 2022 as the transfer coordinator at the undergraduate advising center.

“I decided to move towards higher education,” Summy said. “I have experience working with veteran college students and International College students prior to coming to Lamar.

“And this is a very unique school because it’s a university. It’s got the university experience with dorms, we have athletics, the different baseball, football, dance team, all of that. But it’s a smaller campus so it’s more like a community campus feel. What that means is you have smaller classroom settings, more one-on-one with your teacher, and that really is what drove me to want to be with Lamar University.”

Summy said she took the opportunity to be director because of the history of Beaumont and the museum.

“I had an opportunity to still work with students, to still work with the University, and then also dive into the museum history aspect of it,” Summy said. “I think with (social work) background, I was able to use those skills, transfer them here lbecause I do want us to be a resource for the students. There’s so much history here we have a lot of artifacts, but also resources, advocacy.”

Summy said her aim is for the museum to be more event oriented and community involved.

“Right now, we have food, we have a taco stand, but we want to get people used to coming out here and seeing that food because we are going to get barbecue out here eventually,” Summy said. “And we’re also going to be serving coffee out there in the morning.

“We’re hoping to have some concerts, get some live music. We’ve got this awesome stage in this cool, historic backdrop of a Boomtown behind it.”

There is new fire pit and plans for a common area for the students and community, Summy said.

“We’re going to get a cover pavilion and shooting for the fall of this year, hopefully sooner though,” Summy said. “It’s going to seat about 100 people there’s going to be swings in there and TVs and fans. And so that’ll be another hangout, cool space for students, for Lamar faculty and staff.”

Summy said she also wants to get students and the community involved.

“We’re cleaning up around here, renovating. We’re getting the buildings painted, getting things cleaned and I’m looking for help,” Summy said. “We are interested in helping the students and having them be a part of this.”

The taco stand in Spindletop Gladys City/Boomtown Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students and the community can rent the museum, and the Saloon, Caroline room, and Hammill Square upon request.

“A lot of new things are happening and I’m proud to be a part of that,” Summy said. “I think making a new name for Spindletop has been exciting.”

Category: News