What to do on a Saturday afternoon when the town is rolled up and put away for the weekend? Ah-ha...go to Red River Museum!
The Red River Museum occupies what was once a public library erected by funding from Andrew Carnegie in 1914. It's high ceilings and spacious rooms make a wonderful home for many regional artifacts and articles comprising the museum's collection.
A beautiful oil on wood painting of three muses hangs where it did originally in 1934. It captured our attention as soon as we entered the museum.
Museum director Marcia Rolbiecki was eager to guide us around, highlighting important pieces and information, such as the torching of the original courthouse in the 1930's during the Sherman Riot. (More on this in a later tip) I was particularly interested in a display case full of fossils gathered from this area--which included a mastodon bone.
She kindly handed us off to a docent who was in charge of showing folks around the lower level, which contained items one might find in a General Store, such as, calico and gingham cloth and baking ingredients; a period kitchen and farm implements.
Hours are Tues.-Fri. from 10am-4pm and Sat. from 10am-5pm. Closed Sun.-Mon. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.
This is a beautiful Victorian home that once belonged to a long-time family of Sherman. It was built in 1886 and is part of the elegant ‘Heritage Row’. It is currently maintained by the Sherman Preservation League. Open Sat/Sun noon-4.00pm.
Grayson County Courthouse sits behind the Confederate memorial. The concrete and limestone courthouse was built in 1936 and the lawns surround the courthouse has a various assortment of historical markers and plaques. One marker recalls a 1905 visit by Theodore Roosevelt, who was on his way to a Rough Rider reunion in San Antonio. More than 35,000 people turned out to see him.
On the main square in the courthouse lawn, there are two time capsules buried. One was placed there on July 4, 1976, to mark America's 200th birthday and the other was buried in 1986 to mark the county's sesquicentennial.
Kelly Square is a wonderfully 'old feel' downtown shopping mall. Walking through the doors, you are taken back in time and surrounded by antiques and memorabilia. There is also a restaurant on the 2nd level.
The museum was wonderful, kids loved the place! The animals look so real, like they could start moving at any time. There was probably over 200 animals on display and hundreds of artifacts! It was a great way to spend the afternoon! I will be going back and recommending it all of my friends. I would have never thought that something like this would be in Sherman, TX. It like a museum in Dallas!
For an introduction to the town, how about spending an hour with the good ladies in the history museum who will guide you around the basement's homestead and general store collections. Upstairs are some fine furnishings, artworks, maps and changing exhibits plus a giftshop with a selection of interesting books.
The building itself was the town's Carnegie library and features the county's only examples of Depression Era WPA art. The historical society also own the church building next door which they hope to open soon as a fine arts museum, while preserving the church's four dozen stained glass windows.
Ask about the race riot of 1930, when the county courthouse was burnt to a shell and dynamited so a man held in the cells there could be lynched. Even though he died in the fire, his body was dragged through the streets, mutilated and hung. The mob of 5000 men, children and women (some heavily pregnant) went on to destroy the black business district of the town. Only 2 people were convicted of any crime. There could still be people in town who were there when it happened and of course there will be many whose parents and grandparents told them about those shocking events.
Open 10am - 4pm Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday & Monday. Free admission, but donations encouraged.
On the ground (or first level) floor of Kelly Square Mall. It is a narrow little plaza but lots to look at.
The Museum is housed in a historic church in downtown Sherman. The Museum has a collection of American Victorian styled furniture. Maybe not the most exciting place to visit.