Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tuesday, May 17 -- Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum was our next stop.


When the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) opened its doors in 1933, it was a 12,500 square foot building. Since that time the museum has become the largest history museum in Texas with more than 285,000 square feet.

From dinosaurs to conquistadors, you'll find it all in Texas' largest history museum. The museum is overwhelming! It includes a sampling of western history, art, oil wells, windmills and dinosaurs, all presented for an engaging and educational perspective. You can walk along the boardwalks of a life-size frontier town, view one of the finest Southwest art collections, experience the exciting history of the petroleum industry and more. Saddles, guns, Indian clothing, antique cars, and oil well equipment.....all here to be seen.

NOT JUST FOR SHOW: SADDLES. We never knew how many different styles of saddles there are. The saddle collection runs the gamut from a crocodile-skin-covered North African saddle with carved wooden stirrups to a silver-mounted saddle given to Charles Goodnight by a Mexican government official about 1900.  

This one is for you ladies. A Three-Horn Sidesaddle from 1870. Actually this one was made by an Ohioan, Samuel Caldwell Gallup. He designed this double-rigged sidesaddle for Charles Goodnight's bride-to-be. Goodnight believed Gallup invented the first practical sidesaddle. Later this saddle was called a "cowgirl" sidesaddle. Notice the double handles.


There is one giant room dedicated to just saddles.


PETROLEUM. This area tells the story of the oil boom years in the Texas Panhandle during the 1920s and the 1930s and of the men who made it happen. Two floors of exhibits spotlight the petroleum industry. The collection includes equipment and tools used to drill and maintain oil and gas wells in Texas.

They have a Cable Tool Drilling Rig dated 1925. The cable tool method of drilling used an up-and-down pounding motion that completed the 3000 foot Panhandle wells in 60 to 90 days. The standard rig, displayed here, had a 20" sq. floor and an 87" high derrick.




There is every type of drill bit imaginable. We pushed the button next to the first display and watch the force of the bit hit the pavement. WOW!


OPENING THE CABINET DOORS:  CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES FROM THE AMERICAN INDIAN COLLECTION was one special areas of the museum. Tribes represented include Southern Plains Indians; Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Apache.

Peace and War



The beaded moccasins were beautiful.




There were tons of Indian items to see.

There were beautiful murals telling the stories of life on the Plains.



Last but not least…GUNS…hundreds of guns.



Just before leaving we hopped up on a pair of saddles that were on display.

Marsha choose the cowboy saddle.


So Paul had to ride sidesaddle…Not very comfortable!


Before you leave, can you guess what the next two photos represent?



The first picture are early stirrups that the cowboys wore.

The second picture is a "Tex" Thornton's asbestos suit which he reportedly invented for fighting oil well fires.

There seemed to be so much to see in one afternoon. You could easily spend the entire day in this museum. To see more pictures from inside the Museum, click here.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!