Museums & History
McAllen’s development was spawned by the arrival of the railroad in 1904, and the introduction of irrigation soon after made vital agriculture possible. The town soon began to flourish, and it was incorporated in 1911.
In 1916, as many as 20,000 federal troops were stationed in McAllen to help handle border skirmishes. This also created an economic boom for the growing city.
The opening of an international bridge, several oil strikes and McAllen’s reputation as a destination for winter visitors has contributed to its growth over the years.
Today, McAllen seeks to preserve its unique and historical character. It recently designated its first historic district, located along 15th Street. Historic sites include the Casa de Palmas hotel, opened in 1918 and is still in use. The First Methodist Church, an interesting brick building, dates to 1928. The Miller House, a 15-room, Tudor revival style residence dates back to 1937. Other historic sites in the city including the Quinta Mazatlan and the first railroad depot that is now renovated and being used as an attorney’s office.
Visit the McAllen Heritage Center and the Museum of South Texas History to learn more about McAllen's history.