The Midland Fire Museum, located in the main fire station, houses the first two fire engines used by the town along with other equipment and memorabilia. Hours are 9 AM to 9 PM daily. Admission is free.
The Midland Historical Museum displays artifacts about the history of Midland including the early pioneers, Indian artifacts, veterans displays, and the alleged Midland Man (22,000 years ago). Hours are 2 PM to 5 PM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
John V. Pliska, an immigrant from Austria, built a plane in 1912. He was inspired after seeing the Wright Brothers plane. This was the first plane built in Texas. The plane is on display in the Midland International Airport lobby.
There are a variety of sculptures all over the grounds of the Museum of the Southwest Complex so allow yourself plenty of time to wander and enjoy. Maybe I am artistically ignorant but I still prefer art that I can tell what I am seeing without consulting the sign.
The Juliette and Fred Turner Gallery is housed in a 1934 mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building itself, and the pieces on the grounds, are fascinating. There is a variety of art, much related to the art of the Southwest, nestled amongst the interior details like hand-painted tiles and Italian Marble Fireplaces. Exhibits rotate periodically. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 2 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. Admission was free; but donations were very welcome.
Attached to the library is also a history center with a nice collection of saddles, spurs, and other items reflecting the Western Heritage. I was happy to note that the 3rd name listed on the Cowman's Award of Honor was Ted Gray whom I met in Alpine. The history center has one of the most extensive collections of memorabilia about Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War. It also houses the original mission bell from the Alamo, which was cast in 1722!
The Headquarters for the Commemorative Air Force is by the airport just west of Midland. The CAF was formed to preserve examples of aircraft from throughout the history of aviation in the United States (especially World War 2 military related) and selected aircraft from other countries. The unit conducts various demonstrations and educates the public. There are a number of locations throughout the country which offer a variety of activities. The museum houses the world's largest collection of nose art from when individual planes had distinctive designs. Every year there is an airshow with the World War 2 planes, that attracts thousands of visitors.
The museum in Midland is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM.
The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum also has a room dedicated to auto racing. There were several nice Jim Hall Chaparral Cars on display along with other memorabilia. Innovations made in the development of these race cars are still in use today. Wish I could afford one of these!
The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum has a number of interesting outdoor displays showing the history of the oil business in the area and its inner workings. One of the most interesting to me was the Santa Rita Well #2. It followed closely after the success of Santa Rita #1 the first large scale well in the Permian Basin.
The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum was established in 1975 to tell the story of the people and equipment that started the oil business in the Permian Basin which includes Midland. The museum has a number of fascinating displays (both indoors and outdoors) about the industry plus a nice display about racing. The museum is worth the $8 entry fee (for adults). Fees are $6 for seniors 65 and up/kids 12 to 17; and $5 kids 6 to 11. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and 2 PM to 5 PM on Sunday.
The Fredda Turner Durham Children's Museum provides children of all ages with a variety of interactive environments to acquaint them with a child-size city complete with a bank, grocery store, television station and much more. There are exhibits for all ages and a play area for the really young kids. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 2 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. Closed on Mondays. I also liked the sculptures of kids outside the building.
Another museum I found fascinating was the Blakemore Planetarium. The Blakemore Planetarium offers educational opportunities on astronomy and space travel with photos and a number of more interactive exhibits.
the Museum of the Southwest Complex in Midland is a collection of a number of different museums in one spot. There is something for everyone here ranging from art and science to a variety of displays aimed at the kids. The following tips will acquaint you with some of the possibilities. I am not putting a website on here because at the moment the site is under construction and just redirects you to a few Facebook Pages.
The Haley Library houses over 25,000 books, paintings and other items dedicated to preserving Western Heritage. This material is available free of charge to anyone wishing to conduct research into the subject. Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.
In 1950, future president George H. W. Bush, along with wife, Barbara and son George W. (also a future president) moved to Texas and a short time later into this small house in a quiet residential neighborhood of Midland. It is here that George W. and his younger brother Jeb spent their childhood. The home is now open for tours as a museum. The home is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 2 PM to 5 PM. It is closed on Mondays.