We happened across a small Museum in Bandera. As long as there were still a few hours before it closed for the day, we decided to pop in. Wow, what a surprise with all of the wild west and prehistoric artifacts that had been donated by folks not only locally or within the State of Texas but also donations originating world- wide.
As is the case with many of the public buildings and private homes in the area, the building is constructed of beautiful native Limestone. It is quite impressive to see buildings made of rock gathered from the surrounding pastures.
The museum has been open since the 1930’s and is home to over 400,000 donated pieces depicting life in the Wild West. It was so filled with various items that although the building is quite small, it would take a person a very long time to sift through everything. Some of the items on display were an entire showcase of coins from around the world, showcases of arrowheads,
type set printing materials and a printing press in working order
primitive music Victrola’s,
quilts, primitive sewing machines, spinning wheels, antique bicycle
Included in the exhibit was an entire room devoted to saddles for various purposes.
Another interesting display was a mock traveling dental office that made the rounds visiting surrounding communities in the very late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I found that display particularly interesting because my Grandfather opened his dental practice in 1919 and was a believer in “old school dentistry”. I believe that I was in my 30’s before I ever experienced Novocain. He use to bark “just sit still” Many of the items in the exhibit painfully reminded me of my childhood visits to his office.
There were so many items on display that I came out exhausted from trying to take it all in. I believe the most enjoyable part of the museum for me was seeing the original wood floors, the fireplaces in each room and the wonderful patina of the limestone walls as they blended in so nicely with primitive display’s.
We got pretty thirsty partner and headed into the Bandera General Store for that Sarsaparilla. Old Soda Counter, wood floors, tin ceilings, lots of boots, hats, western wear. I felt like we had been living several centuries all in one day!
For such a small town with a population of less than 1000, there is certainly much to see. We enjoyed the day. We are still looking for all of those Cowboys though if this is the “cowboy capital of the world.” Must be home watching ESPN !!!!