The Whitehead Memorial Museum has a number of buildings covering 2 1/2 acres, all full of displays about the early hostory of the town and West Texas. It is a very impressive collection and well worth a visit. Hours are 9 AM to 4:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. The entrance fee is $3 for adults; $2 for seniors and kids 13 to 18; and $1 for kids 6 to 12.
I plan to add several tips about this museum as I get the photos prepared.
Next to the Old Perry Store is The Storyteller's House. This houses several dioramas and items from Judge Roy Bean's life story. I will tell the whole story in a Travelogue because I need more picture room.
During the expansion isto the west the US Army frequently used Seminole Indians and the descendents of slaves as scouts. These soldiers were adept at the skills needed to perform this hazardous duty. There is a building dedicated to these soldiers on the museum grounds.
Another important person to your primary mode of transportation, your horse, was the guy in the Livery. If you were away from home he housed, fed, combed, and generally made sure your horse was fine and could get you home alright.
There is also a large building with some miscellaneous displays about the history of the area and the people living here. Photo 1) Not sure if this was a real town or not? Photo 2) Cowboy Campsite Photo 3) Native American Campsite Photo 4) Burial Bed Photo 5) Burial Adornments.
Throughout the museum grounds they have several hands-on displays with fun educational things for the kids to do. Photo 1) Learn how the pioneers washed their dishes and took their baths Photo 2) How did they was their clothes? Photo 3) Dress like a pioneer.
My last entry for the Whitehead Memorial Museum is one that I know will be near and dear to a lot of my fellow VTers. There are a number of good wineries in the area. The museum has a display about some of them along with this wine cask which holds over 1000 gallons. Maybe we can borrow it for a future VT meet??
Established in 1962 by a local ranching family, The Whitehead Memorial Museum ranks high for a community museum. Perhaps its greatest attraction is the grave of Judge Roy Bean, The Law West of the Pecos. This guy served whiskey and life sentences out of the same saloon (Check out my Langtry, TX page for more on him.)
Another notable attraction is the Hal Patton Labor Office, built in 1905. Hal Patton was one of the first black entrepeneurs to move to Del Rio. He did so in 1885 and later started the city's first taxi service. He moved to Del Rio from Goliad, TX. His mother and father, Isam and Martha Patton, were freed slaves. You can find a narrative left by Martha Patton, discussing life during the Civil War, in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
The museum offers much more, including the Cadena Nativity and portions of the San Felipe irrigation canal that was built in 1871. If you're interested in the area's local history, this place is a must.