The Star of the Republic Museum opened on March 2, 1970--Texas Independence Day--to great fanfare. A parade, ribbon cutting and an address by Texas Governor Preston Smith were highlights of the dedication ceremony.
Though the opening was cause for celebration, the museum at that time was only a building; it had no collection.
Prior to the opening, the director traveled around the state collecting objects for temporary use. Exhibits were brought to Washington so that there would be displays in the galleries when the museum opened to the public.
During the course of the museum’s first decade, the collections were built with donated and purchased objects that represented the Republic of Texas period. With the help of L. Cletus Brown, Jr., the museum built a wide-ranging collection of objects and documents.
Many of the exhibits shown in the gallery during this time were traveling exhibits. These exhibitions were borrowed from other institutions and then temporarily displayed at the Star of the Republic. The museum also played host to several art exhibitions by local artists and students.