Today in Texas History – April 14

From the Annals of the Museums–   In 1933, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum opened in Canyon.  The PPHM claims to be the first state museum in Texas.   The museum first began to take shape when an educator named Hattie Anderson moved to Canyon to teach history at West Texas State Normal College.  She saw an opportunity to preserve the quickly vanishing history of the Llano Estacado.  By early 1921, Anderson and L.F. Sheffy (the head of the college’s history department) joined seven other faculty members and around thirty students to organize the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society.  Together they began to collect and preserve the human and natural history of the region. They began soliciting support for their efforts, in the form of society memberships.  By 1932, the group had enough funds to begin construction of Pioneer Hall still the main building for the museum.  The Art Deco limestone structure features fine decorative stonework and, on its façade, carvings and bas reliefs depicting Western themes as well as Panhandle-Plains flora and fauna. More than 75 famous West Texas cattle brands surround the entrance.

Red personally recommends the PPHM as the best historical museum in the State.  A must see if you visit Canyon and expect to spend at least a couple of hours touring the excellent exhibits.

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