One of the most distinctive elements of The Bryan Museum is its unique location in the former Galveston Orphans Home, now immaculately restored. Displays in the small Galveston Orphans Home Gallery commemorate the building's history as an orphanage.
The ground level of the building is where the children at the orphanage once played. During the renovations, a children's "hideout" was discovered by the Museum's Director, Dr. Jamie Christy, in a niche beneath the stairs leading down from the main floor. Written on a board in this hideout were the words "Keep Out" along with a hanging peach can, which apparently functioned as a makeshift doorbell.
Workers began uncovering a variety of children's items—buried in the soil, tucked away in walls, hidden in the attic—that had clearly belonged to some of the former residents of the orphanage. Knowing that these found items were treasures in their own right, Dr. Christy began collecting and preserving them.
Paying homage to the children who once lived here, the Galveston Orphans Home Gallery is dedicated to the toys, newspaper clippings, files, and other artifacts that were discovered. A number of former residents have visited the Museum and recorded their experiences for this very special exhibit.