HOUSTON — A birthday seems like the perfect time to look at where we came from.
“We're gathering together and we're celebrating all these accomplishments over the years," said Mister McKinney, a Houston historian who runs the Mister McKinney's Historic Houston Facebook and Instagram pages.
McKinney says the city’s history is one of resilience that began all the way back in 1837.
“That time period, people are pocketing this area and they're realizing there's going to be some challenges here. This brand new part will be called Houston. And we've never stopped," McKinney said.
It’s the events in the city’s 186 years, like Hurricane Harvey, that have defined what Houston stands for. The city has never failed to bounce back.
“We've never stopped flooding and we see that throughout Houston's past," McKinney said. “But those particular efforts to try to, you know, be at peace with Houston, to make sure we can be at harmony here because we all love to live here, right? This is a great city. And it has its weather challenges, hurricanes and flooding, but we find ways to make it work."
Harvey touched everyone and everything in the city, including Houston’s historic homes. Construction on the Kellum/Noble house, which began in 2014, was delayed due to the storm.
“This is home," said Jacqueline Bostic, a community leader who happens to be the great-granddaughter of Jack Yates. "I've always considered it home. I consider it a great city."
She grew up in the Jack Yates house, which was built in 1870. The foundation of the city, she says, is its camaraderie and perseverance.
“I consider it a city where people learn how to work together and do things," she said. "That's why I feel like we've made the kind of progress that we've made in the city.”
And that window that history provides is as much about looking back as it is looking forward.
“We have we have a reason to celebrate now more than ever," said McKinney.
You can experience a tour of the historic homes from Tuesday to Saturday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.. Each tour is around 45 to 60 minutes and is $15 for general admission.
The Heritage Society is hoping to continue to rebuild historic homes. For more information or to donate, visit the Heritage Society's website.