This house was built in 1870 and originally sat in nearby Freedmen's Town - now Houston's Fourth Ward - before the Houston Heritage Society moved it to this location to preserve it. A former slave, the Rev. Jack Yates played a prominent role in the religious and civic life of Houston's African American community. Yates helped found and also preached at a number of local churches, including the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, whose beautiful sanctuary stands just a few blocks from the park. Yates also helped found several schools. His son's home, now the Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum, remains in its original location in nearby Freedmen's Town.
The Yates House contains a large collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the Yates family. The Heritage Society hosts tours of the facilities and collections. Stop by the museum, and register at the entrance desk. Be sure to specify the Yates House, as the tour generally makes four stops, chosen by participants, among the various properties in the park. Also, visitors should set aside time to stroll along the paths leading through the park past other historic buildings, including the 4th Ward Cottage. Cell phones are recommended because the Heritage Society has a phone tour for visitors to access and hear information about each building.