Visitors to Sam Bell Maxey House are guided through the Victorian home of the Maxey and Long families, which interprets how an upper-middle-class family lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Maxey and Long families lived in the house for 99 years before it was turned into a public institution, leaving a collection that is mainly family-owned.
Today, the Sam Bell Maxey House has more than 10,000 artifacts. Visitors to the house hear stories about the families while viewing the actual objects owned, used, and created by the Maxeys and Longs. A number of the site’s signature pieces were recently conserved, including the painting “Rebecca at the Well,” a 19th-century hand-painted fan, and two swords.
The site is accessible by self-guided tours, which are available at any time during operating hours, and by guided house tours, which are given every hour on the hour and typically last 45 minutes to one hour. The last guided tour is given at 3 p.m.
In addition to the house tour, visitors are free to walk the grounds at their own leisure where they can view the formal Victorian garden, a rose garden planted in honor of Marilda Maxey’s love of gardening and roses, and a number of crape myrtle trees. Marilda Maxey brought the first crape myrtle trees to Paris when the Maxeys moved to Texas from Kentucky.
Visitor parking is available on site.
For group tours consisting of 10 or more people, reservations are required at least two weeks in advance of the tour date. Group tours can accommodate up to 30 people per hour.
School groups are also welcome to visit the Maxey House. Tours of the museum for school groups are designed to complement classroom curriculums. Guided school tours are offered Monday through Friday. The cost is $1 per student. Please request your tour at least two weeks in advance.
To schedule a group or school tour, please submit a tour reservation form. A staff person will contact you to confirm the date and time when the form is received.
All tours begin at the side entrance of the Maxey house. For questions or help with group tours and reservations, please call us at 903-785-5716.
A museum store is located on site with souvenirs and books for purchase.
The first floor of the historic home is wheelchair accessible, and ADA-accessible restrooms and parking are available on site. For guests who cannot use the stairs, the site provides a notebook of color photos of the second floor. All visitors should use caution when exploring the outside of the house and gardens due to uneven bricks.
ADA-accessible restrooms are located at the back of the property in the site’s historic stable. Food and drinks are not available on site. Picnic tables are located on the grounds. Visitors wishing to use the picnic tables are encouraged to bring picnics, but are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Food and drinks are not allowed inside the house during tours.
While you're in the area, visit these nearby sites:
- Paris Downtown Square/Main Street
- Lamar County Historical Society Museum (open Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- Historic Evergreen Cemetery
- Bywaters Park
- Trail de Paris
- Love Civic Center – location of Paris' Eiffel Tower and the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial
For additional travel and history information, see the following resources: