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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    Sam Rayburn

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    In front of the main entrance to the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum sits the man himself, Sam Rayburn's. 'Mr Sam' can be seen holding the Speakers gavel and a scrolls with the words "We the People". Just below plaza where the Statue is on is a fountain (not working in winter) which has selected quotes from Rayburn speeches etched into the stone.
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    The Church / School

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    There is the replica of a school which doubled as a church - as they so often did back then. The cedar logs were cut along the Red River and the walls were constructed by inmates from Choice Moore Prison Unit in Bonham as a community Service. Bonham did not receive its first schoolhouse until 1843 and that building was just to the southeast of the courthouse square on land donated by Bailey Inglish.
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    General Store

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    Alexander Russell's general store is depicted in this building which is typical of the 1839-41 era. Russell's store was the first recorded business in Bonham. This building along with the blacksmiths shop were original part of the outbuildings at the Stagecoach Inn at Dodd City - 6 miles east of Bonham.

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    Bailey Inglish

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    Bailey Inglish was the founder of Bonham. He was born in South Carolina but in 1836, but as a widower, he moved with five of his children to what is now known as Fannin County in Texas, he remarried later that same year. Because of the increase in Indian raids in the area, he and several neighbours constructed a fortified blockhouse and stockade on his land. Several families too refuge over the following several years but only one documented raid every took place there. The fort became known as Fort Inglish for several years with other small frontier families took refuge there. In 1840 a post office was established and in 1843 the settlement at Bois d'Arc Creek replaced Fort Warrn as county seat of Fannin County and soon the town was renamed in honour of James Butler Bonham.

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    Charlie Christian Exhibit

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    Surprisingly to me, there is a small display on Jazz musician Charlie Christian who was born in Bonham in 1919. It is said that he provided the greatest single contribution of a jazz guitarist. He has been given credit for making the guitar a solo instrument. He also amplified his guitar so it could be heard with louder instruments in the band. Charlie also played in Benny Goodman's band for three years beginning in 1939. Unfortunately his life was brief and he died at 26 of tuberculosis.

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    A Mammoths Tooth

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 25, 2003

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    One of the most amazing items was the tooth of a Mammoth. Hard to imagine that these mighty beasts roamed the area but by the size of the tooth, you certainly wouldn't have wanted to come across one.

    There are also Early Native American artifacts represented in the museum.
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    Downtown Square

    by keeweechic Updated Jan 28, 2003

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    The selection of stores on the square was a little disappointing but I presume in time and with the rejuvenating, this will change. It has not as yet become the trendy mecca that other little towns in Texas are developing into.

    While walking around the square I started to feel maybe this was not the best choice I had made of towns to visit - the bleak cold weather was probably not offering the best look of this little town, but after a visit to the Fannin County Museum, that all changed. The couple that were there were welcoming and extremely helpful. Their enthusiasm of their town and the surrounding area, past and future, was transferred to me and I came away with a greater awareness that there was something very special about this little town. The pride in everyone I came across and their helpfulness was inspiring and I ended up feeling of almost a duty to do the very best I could with the images and information I had been freely given.
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    The Ceiling of the Speakers Office

    by keeweechic Updated Jan 28, 2003

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    The ceiling of the Speakers Office, which is barrel-vaulted, was hand painted by an Italian painter.

    The ceiling which is barrel-vaulted was hand painted by an Italian painter. Both the tile floor patterns and the ceiling are exact copies of the floor and ceiling in Speakers office at the Capitol.
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    The Cadillac Fleetwood

    by keeweechic Written Jan 28, 2003

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    In another garage is The 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood. This car was a gift to Mr Sam from 142 congressmen at the end of his first term as speaker of the US House of Representatives. When the House moved to Republican control in 1947, his colleagues offered to give Mr Sam a car. True to his ethics, he insisted that he could not accept such an expensive gift as he had never accepted anything worth more than $25.00. Within 2 days, a collection of $25 donations from 142 Democrats (the total of $3,500) was collected and the 1937 Cadillac was purchased. The car underwent full restoration in 1999 and was returned to the Museum.

    In his almost 50 years of continuous service in the U.S. House, Rayburn never accepted a contribution from a lobbyist and he went on only one congressional junket for which he paid his own way.
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    First Presbyterian Church

    by keeweechic Updated Jan 28, 2003

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    This church was built in 1885 on a site two blocks from its present location. In 1897, the sanctuary was moved to its present location. The church was remodelled and redecorated in 1990 but the sanctuary retains much of its original exterior with the steeple and bell tower. In the last 10 years a new education building and fellowship hall was added along with a youth house. The church is recognised as a historic landmark in Bonham.
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    Speakers Rostrum

    by keeweechic Written Jan 28, 2003

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    There is a historic marble rostrum which stood on the dais of the House of Representatives from 1857 to 1950 when the House was then renovated. The rostrum was then presented to Sam Rayburn to have as a permanent display in the Library and Museum. The flag shown, was the last to hang behind the rostrum.
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    Demonstrations during Summer

    by keeweechic Updated Jan 28, 2003

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    In the summer months you can see various pioneer activities being demonstrated. These include lye soap making, broom making, candle making and other outdoor skills.

    The stockade is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. (September - March) and Tuesdays - Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (April - August). Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.
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    The Hawkins Prairie Cabin

    by keeweechic Written Jan 28, 2003

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    The cabin was found inside a house that was being torn down in 1976. It may have been built around 1845 by a Z.C. Rowland who was the landowner at the time. The original use of the cabin was unknown but it was possibly used for slave quarters or a starter cabin for pioneer settlers. Hawkins Prairie was the original name for the present day community of Ivanhoe which is 15 miles N.E. of Bonham near the Red River.
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    Restored PT-19

    by keeweechic Written Jan 28, 2003

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    In the last section of the Museum is the exhibit "Bonham in the War" which portrays Bonham's role in the war effort when the Jones Field pilot training base was created at the municipal airport. The centrepiece of this exhibit is the restored blue and yellow Fairchild PT-19 airplane. This plane I was told was made up of pieces from all over the country as no complete plane existed anywhere. It was an amazing effort by the men who trained and supported the war effort in Bonham.
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    Texas and Pacific Railway Depot

    by keeweechic Updated Jan 28, 2003

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    The old depot was the second depot to be built in Bonham and was constructed in 1900. The original depot was a small wooden building which served both passengers and freight. From 1987 it has be the home to the Fannin County Museum of History with the Chamber of Commerce taking up residence in the other end in 1989. The building has been declared as a recorded historic landmark and it is also on the national register of historic places.
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