Worth a Visit in Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Texas© 2009 NPS PhotoAn authentic chuck wagon complete with the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee harks back to early ranch life in the Panhandle.

At West Texas A&M University, 2503 Fourth Ave., Canyon, Texas

The long and varied history of the northernmost section of Texas is captured in this well-conceived museum. One panoramic presentation, in chronological order, covers Paleozoic fossils, the culture of early man, the coming of the conquistadors, the Native American – frontier era, ranching, the petroleum boom, and modern industry.

Ranch life in the Panhandle is represented by saddles, branding irons, guns, and a chuck wagon with the aroma of coffee on the campfire. In the Pioneer Village are reconstructions of buildings that were once essential to frontier towns; all are authentically equipped and furnished.

“People of the Plains” tells the story of human occupation of the southern Great Plains over the past 14,000 years. This state-of-the-art exhibit compares the various ways different cultures have solved their needs for water, food, shelter, trade, and transportation—from prehistoric creatures to modern-day cowboys.

A century-long parade of fashion (1850–1950) is presented in a series of realistic settings. These displays change, as do those in the center’s art galleries. One building is devoted to buggies, sleighs, wagons, and automobiles. Also on the grounds is the headquarters of the T-Anchor Ranch, the oldest original structure in the Panhandle.

Open daily except winter holidays. Admission charged.

www.panhandleplains.org

(806) 651-2244

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