Bonham Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by keeweechic
  • Things to Do
    by keeweechic
  • Things to Do
    by keeweechic

Most Recent Things to Do in Bonham

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    Fort Inglish Park

    by keeweechic Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is a replica of the original settlement that existed in 1837 which later became Bonham. Early residents lived in constant threat of Indian attacks and Fort Inglish was often used as a refuge for settlers on the western edge of the Red River frontier. This particular settlement was constructed in 1976 and is open in the summer but with no heating, it is closed in the winter. You can however wander around the outside of all the buildings.

    Admission is free, donations accepted

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    Sam Rayburn Library and Museum

    by keeweechic Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Heading out on Hwy 121 is the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum. You cannot miss this tall white columned building. The 2 storey library contains memorabilia and furnishings from the Washington office of Sam Rayburn. Sam or "Mr Sam" as he is affectionately known, was one of the country's most powerful and influential Speakers of the House. His constituents re-elected him to Congress 24 times. When he died in 1961, his body lay in state for 25 hours in the marble foyer of the Rayburn Library. He was burned near his parents in Bonham's Willow Wild Cemetery.

    The Library/Museum is Free
    Open Mon - Fri 10 - 5, Sat 1 - 5, Sun 2 - 5. Don?t forget to sign the Visitors Book.

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    The Sam Rayburn House Museum

    by keeweechic Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Mr Sam built this house in 1916 originally for his parents but was also his official residence. All the furnishings are original and undisturbed and there are many personal items on display. The house was remodelled in 1934 after a severe storm hit the area and an original 2nd level porch was destroyed. This was not replaced but instead a 4th column was added and the look of the house dramatically changed because of this. A guest bedroom with its own bathroom was built and was used by his brother Tom and his wife. A kitchen was added a few years later with a sizeable pantry which houses one of the first chest freezers made.

    Mr Sam once said "When I get away from Washington I don't want to go anywhere else in the world but home." The house has 12 rooms and is remarkably comfortable. It has a very lived in and easy feel about it. The Museums director and staff have really done a wonderful job of preserving a glimpse into life and times of not only Mr Sam but this era.

    Admission is free but donations are accepted
    Open : 8 - 5 Tuesday-Friday and 9 - 5 on Sat. Closed Sunday and Monday
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    Fannin County Museum

    by keeweechic Updated Mar 19, 2004

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    The Museum's is in the Texas and Pacific Railway Depot and the exhibits cover the time before the Texas Revolution with the arrival of the early settlers through the years of the Republic of Texas and the Civil War through into the new century and 2 world wars.
    The couple that were there on the day I went were a wealth of information and very helpful with other information around Bonham. Tom Scott and Jean Dodson were very knowledgeable on the history of the area and a delight to talk to. I came away armed with various maps and pamphlets and with a very different awareness of Bonham's prominence than I had gone in with. My thanks.

    Open Tues - Sat 10.00am - 4.00pm (summer) and 12.00noon to 4.00pm (winter)

    Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

    More in my Travelogues

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    Mr Sam's Bedroom

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 16, 2003

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    Mr. Sam's bedroom is huge compared to a lot of those times. There are many personal mementos which he collected during his 50 years of public service. He has his own bathroom and also had a shower installed.

    There is a saddle and a pair of cowboy boots at the foot of the bed - true Texan style. He was a small man, his shoe size was only 7 and more evidence of his size is shown with a tuxedo which hangs on his wardrobe door.

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    Presidential Chandelier

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 16, 2003

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    There is a huge crystal and silver chandelier which dominates the room. It was originally in the White House but President Theodore Roosevelt didn't like the noise it created when the breeze caught the hundreds of cut crystals and ordered it to be removed. It was given to Mr Sam for the speakers office because he apparently liked it. When he left the speakers office it was then gifted to him for the Library in 1957.

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    'Mr Sam'

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 16, 2003

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    Samuel "Sam" Taliaferro Rayburn was born in 1882 and was 5 years old when his parents moved from Tennessee to Texas. He was the 8th of 11 children . His parents were poor and his upbringing was very humble but he rose to become not only one of Texas'greatest Statesmen but also of the United States. From 1906 he held elective office for 55 consecutive years and was elected 24 times to the US House of Representatives. Seventeen of those years was as Speaker of the House. He worked with 8 Presidents and countless foreign executives. He was also a mentor to Lyndon B. Johnson and there are humorous photos and caricatures of the two in the Sam Rayburn Library. He continued to serve until pancreatic cancer forced him to return to Bonham where he in 1961. At that time he had set a congressional record for 48 consecutive years in the U.S. House for continuous service. He referred to Bonham as the place "where people know it when you're sick and where they care when you die." More than 30,000 people went to Mr. Sam's funeral. Congress sent a delegation of 105 members to attend the service which was held at First Baptist Church, including 3 U.S. presidents who were the then President John Kennedy, former President Truman and former President Dwight Eisenhower along with the future President Lyndon B. Johnson.

    He was known for his fairness, candour and mastery of the political process. He was quoted as saying "I have found that people respect you if you tell them where you stand". He enjoyed the simple pleasures at home and the respect he was given is very evident all around Bonham with the pride that is shown by the residents.

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    Prehistoric Fossils

    by keeweechic Updated May 6, 2003

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    In the Museum there is a small but amazing collection of fossils from the prehistoric days of the county. Remains can still be found around the Sulphur River Valley area. I was told that these items could even outdate those at the Smithsonian.
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    The Formal Dining Room

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    The formal dining room is bright and colourful - the dinner set was a wedding present. Amazingly his marriage to Metze Jones only lasted about 2 months and he never remarried and consequently never had children. The cutlery was a present from the Prime Minister of Thailand. The chandelier was a present from Mr Sam to his sister Lou which he bought in Dallas.
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    Lucinda's Bedroom

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    One of the upstairs bedroom belonged to his unmarried sister Lucinda who reigned over the house. She was also Mr Sam's social companion, and confident and lived with him in the house throughout her life. She was closest to him of all his ten brothers and sisters. Lucinda died of cancer in 1956.
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    The Property

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    On the property is a historic smoke-house, and barn. The garage still houses his 1951 Dodge farm truck and Miss Lou's 1955 Plymouth Savoy. Chickens and rooster roam the grounds which adds to the feeling of the farm still being lived in.
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    A.B. Scarborough Home

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    This is a really beautiful 1897 Queen Anne style house which has been wonderfully preserved. The original owner was for a long time, President of the First National Bank, which obviously did well. The original colour of the house was tan and dark brown before it was changed to white over 60 years ago but the house still retains its lovely mahogany staircase.

    The house is now the Wise Funeral Home and is owned by the Murden family. It has been recorded a Texas Historic Landmark.
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    The Galleries

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    In the west part of the Library and Museum are two exhibit galleries which feature items from Sam Rayburn's life. There is his college diploma and original letters written by Presidents F. D. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. There are many photographs and caricatures hanging on the walls.
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    The Book Collection

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    A large portion of the library houses Mr Sam's personal collection of books. He was an avid reader and after completing a book he would put a mark on page 99 of each book to show he had read it. A lot of the books are about American government and history but some are also personally inscribed by authors or admirers such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. There is also a research library which houses the originals of Mr Sam's official papers.
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    Speakers Office

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    The centrepiece of the library is a replica of the formal office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This was Mr Sam's office for 16 years. He worked in this office whenever he was in Bonham between sessions of the Congress. All the furnishings are original from the Speakers office in the Capitol including his personal desk, red leather furniture and the rug. The fireplace was originally installed in the House of Representatives and remained there for some 92 years. It was removed during the renovations at the Capitol in the late 1940's.

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