A fifteen minute car ride south of Amarillo gets you to the town of Canyon, Texas. Canyon is home to West Texas A&M University and on the corner of that very campus you will find the largest history museum in Texas, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum.
The museum pays hearty homage to the area and it's inhabitants through the ages from the creatures of old to the dynamics of the people today. As a former student at WTA&M I have strolled the displays often but last Thursday I went to see a specific display on temporary loan.
As a hunter, a proud Texan who fully understands the pivotal role firearms played into the formation and foundation of the west, and a person who believes in the 2nd amendment to the constitution, I was eager to see this display and learn more about Samuel Colt's legacy.
I won't go into details of the man's legacy but he took gun manufacturing and technology to new heights and much material can be found about his accomplishments. Nor do I wish to go into the politics of gun rights and ownership for this post. So let's take a closer look at the the display and museum.
My first reaction. Utter disappointment. Not only was the price of admission increased because of the display but no pictures were allowed of the colt artifacts and while I found certain items intriguing my expectations were not met. I wanted to see more items of historical significance, more story behind the items on display and less on the when and chronology of the way Colt formed his legacy. I already knew many of these tidbits. And while there was a nice collection of firearms from the colt's personal collection the items on display were no better than Panhandle Plains Historical Museum's normal display on weaponry, of which I will get to later.
Maybe my expectations were too high, but that display aside, I a wonderful day at the museum with my wife and young sons. It's always fun to watch them learn and discover new things. Let me take along.
PPHM pays considerable homage to the oil and gas heritage of the Texas Panhandle and to that affect there is a huge oil pump rig that stretches both floors of the facility. It is visible from the street via the glass front. Here is the base.
As expected my boys were excited by the dinosaurs and impressive displays of skeletal fossils. Most of which were unearthed in the Panhandle area.
Without the windmill, the early settlers never could have sustained life and livestock in this area.
As I stated PPHM has a nice display of weaponry and many of the pieces give detailed descriptions of the former owner or owners an the weapons involvement in their life. (click to enlarge the last picture of the.45 peacemaker revolver to see what I mean) The writer in me likes those little details. They get my mind to churning and I can better visualize the time and place. From the outlaw west days up to WWII the museum has guns, knives, swords, and bayonets on display. The place is a goldmine for any historical researcher wanted to get good visuals and a sense of how things were.
There are many more displays and various art galleries but for the sake of brevity and my readers eyes I will wait and do a second post on the museum in a future installment of My Town Mondays.
POSTS FROM MY FELLOW MY TOWN MONDAYERS
Robyn - Sacramento, California
Penelope the Cat -- Houston, Texas
Patti Abbott- Detroit, Michigan
Debra - Peninsula, Ohio
Reb - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Terrie Farley Moran - New York City, New York
Mary Nix - Olmsted Falls, Ohio
Barbara Martin - Toronto, Canada
Gina Black - Santa Monica California
Joshua - St Louis, Missouri
Kimberly Willis Holt - Around the block in Amarillo,Texas
PreTzel - Branson, Missouri
Barrie Summy - Killbear Provencial park, Canada
David Cranmer - Cameroon, West Africa
Clair Dickson - Ann Arbor, Michigan