National Ranching Heritage Museum

When we first learned of the existence of the National Ranching Heritage Museum, it seemed moderately interesting. For sure it was something to do. Admission is free, so what the heck?

Lubbock wasn't one of the places we'd yearned to see in our decades of dreaming about this trip. We only ended up here to make some repairs to the RV. When that happened sooner than we expected, we were already signed up for several days at the RV park. The museum was simply a way to pass the time. As it turns out, it was an unexpected gem.

We're not generally museum kinds of people, but this one was fascinating. This was the sign in front of the museum describing the ranching heritage the museum was honoring.

There was a main structure with some exhibits of carriages, wagons, and artifacts from the time. There was also a discussion of the significant problem of cattle rustling. There was an exhibit entitled "Beading and Buckskins," which was just what you would have expected. Inside was this elaborate saddle.

There were all sorts of beaded articles in this exhibit, and they were all very elaborate. We wondered where the beads came from, but there was no explanation about that.

Another exhibit that was immensely interesting was the bandana exhibit. Here's a sign introducing the topic.

These were all behind glass, which made it hard to get good pictures of them. I'll show you just a few of the examples included. As quilters, I knew you'd be interested in this pattern.

And this paisley one.

There was one bandana in indigo blue, but turkey red was the color of choice.

Silk was the favorite fabric because it was warmer than cotton and did not retain moisture as cotton might have.

This is a close-up of the one above. It looked like a pretty free motion quilting pattern...as if.

Here's some information about the color known as "turkey red."

And here's a bolt of fabric as you might have seen it if you'd been to a yard goods store.

Outside and to the rear of the main structure were a number of recreated and refurbished buildings honoring the ranching heritage. They were in order of the time in which they were built and used. There were so many, I couldn't possibly include all of them here.

This first one was made of mud and wood...even the chimney was made of wood. You wouldn't have wanted your fire too high or you might have burned up your chimney.

As it turned out wood was not a good choice. During the wars with the Native Americans, many of the wooden structures were burned, and so they began building them from stone. In the image below, you can see gun ports where ranchers could poke rifles through to protect themselves from attack.

There were informational signs along with these, but I haven't included them. I'll just let you look at the outside. They were similarly simple inside...most with dirt floors, a table, a fireplace or a cookstove, and a bed.

This next one is a one room schoolhouse.

Are you a teacher? This is how your classroom might have looked.

This is a sort of bunkhouse and cookhouse all in one.

The middle room contained a dining area. The other rooms were places for cowboys to bunk down for the night.

If you were among the wealthy, you might have lived in a house like this next one.

There were a number of windmills included. This one was my favorite.

Oh, and I loved this carriage house. See the holes down there at the bottom of the doors?

Here's the explanation:

Cats...unsung heroes.

There was one large barn. Inside was a detailed exhibit that discussed the evolution of barbed wire. There were dozens of iterations of barbed wire. Who knew? The windmill to the right was a newfangled version with collapsible blades.

Here's some information about the barn.

These next two images were the interior of a cookhouse. It was a sort of cafeteria. The kitchen was to the left.

Dining area to the right.

Of course, there were lots of quilts in these structures. Unfortunately, many of them were covered in plastic, and so I couldn't get very good pictures of them. I'll show you the best ones.

To the left of the image above was this little toddler bed/crib. It isn't a quilt there.

But I thought you'd enjoy seeing this little patchwork chicken pillow.

In the same room and just inside the door was this quilt folded up on a trunk.

I knew you'd want to see this treadle sewing machine.

Here's a close-up of the machine.

And, as you might guess, this was a windows and walls kind of day.

As I mentioned earlier, this museum turned out to be unexpectedly interesting, and I would encourage you to visit if you ever get a chance. We really enjoyed our time there despite the freezing temperatures.

Before leaving for the museum, I filled another hoop of embroidery. This design is densely stitched and it's taking me a fair amount of time to work through it.

I'm estimating it's about 2/3 finished now.

Now I've hooped up the southeast corner, and I'm ready to go again.

We ran all of our errands yesterday...fueling up the truck, doing some laundry, grocery shopping, and some other miscellaneous stuff. This morning we're moving on to Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas panhandle. We've visited Texas several times in the past, but we've always stayed to the south. This part of Texas is new terrain. We're looking forward to some warmer weather, but that probably won't be until tomorrow or the next day. It can't come soon enough.


Kate said...

The museum has a lot of cool stuff. Thanks for sharing the bandannas, those were all gorgeous. Too nice to be used to wipe off the grime. Those must have been the dress up and go to town ones.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love these kinds of venue - thank you for sharing your day.

WoolenSails said...

Now that is quite the place to visit, love all the old buildings, would be great for future art and quilt ideas.
Love seeing all the quilts on the beds too, enjoyed exploring with you.


Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

A Singer 66 red eye treadle. Probably about 1912ish time frame. In many parts of west Texas, there wasn't enough wood, just scrub trees, for wooden houses. There were lots and lots of rocks though (remember around Mason, TX, etc) so, lots of stone structures were built. Good way to clear the land of a few of the rocks.

Anne Kirby said...

Nice Place Barb! I love how the comments sometimes fill in extra information for us (thank you Cheryl!). I wonder how many of us are eagerly "travelling" with you. I don't even have a car right now, so it's all on you to keep me sane and feel like I'm somewhere besides work and home!


Your stitchery is coming along nicely--
and what neat buildings and furnishing--
glad you found something 'not' planned to see--
sometimes those 'not' plans are really great---
enjoy, di

Tilly said...

What a marvelous museum,thanks for sharing,love the bandanas and quilts.
greetings Tilly

piecefulwendy said...

It's always fun to find those little gems along the way. Interesting read about the bandannas, thank you for sharing that. Love the doors with the little holes for the cats!

Brown Family said...

The second house past the bunk house, looks just like the farm house my Dad was raised in. It stood until the late 70's or early 80's. We had a family that lived in it up until that time. It was a single wall bead and batten construction with no insulation other that builders paper tacked to the inside. Dad talked about having to put news papers on the floor to keep the draft out!

The white 'iron' beds look like some I remember at the farm!

quiltzyx said...

That was an interesting tour. Those bandannas have such intricate patterns! As they described, the silk makes sense, but I never would have thought of cowboys with silk bandannas!
Love the stacked stone buildings. There are some field stone building still around here & I always thought they were so cool looking. What a fun tidbit about the cat holes in the barn doors too! Great additions to your doors & windows.

QuiltGranma said...

the beads on the saddle may be trade beads brought by white traders to the Natives. A very interesting Museum! Thank you for sharing

SJSM said...

As I read the sign about bandannas, it sounds as if silk was very common material to use. I never would have guessed that would be the case. I would have thought silk would be too expensive for the common cowpoke to own. The properties of silk are great, being a breathable fabric it helps keep you comfortable whether it is hot or cold. With such a small diameter it can be woven tightly. I can see why it would be a good choice to block dust. It never occurred to me a cowboy would have one except maybe if they were well off and then for show. You gave me my new knowledge for the day! Thank you. Now I do not need to search to learn the rest of the day. :)