Museum Notes 7-15-2019

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MUSEUM NOTES: July 15, 2019


This Saturday, former Canadian resident and author, Ruth Rogers Beasley will be at the River Valley Pioneer Museum to read from her new book, Memory Cups of the Texas Panhandle. This is a second edition of Millie Jones Porter’s 1945 book, Memory Cups of Panhandle Pioneers. Millie, Ruth’s great aunt, traveled the panhandle after the Texas Centennial in 1936 for a series of interviews she called “memory cup readings.” Millie used these interviews along with courthouse documents to capture memories, craft biographies, and preserve early pioneer histories with an emphasis on Wheeler County. In this second edition, Ruth shapes Millie’s stories into a chronological timeline and added several appendixes, a bibliography and a comprehensive index, providing some editorial attention to the original format.

Between 4pm-5pm on July 20th, Ruth will read from her edition and be available for signing purchased copies of Memory Cups of the Texas Panhandle. This event is free to the public. Ruth’s books, Memory Cups of the Texas Panhandle and The Jones Girls of Wheeler County, are on sale at the museum gift shop now. This Saturday evening is also Cruise Night. For more information, please call us at 806-323-6548 and check out our Facebook page, River Valley Pioneer Museum.


On Tuesday, July 9th, the Hemphill County Historical Committee met at the River Valley Pioneer Museum. The committee voted to approve the application for a Texas historical marker for the Glazier Calaboose. Wallace Forrest has done an excellent job discussing the history and significance of the Glazier Calaboose, as it was one of only two structures that survived the devastating tornado of 1947. The application is ready to be sent to the Texas Historical Commission for review once the application season opens.

The Hemphill County Historical Committee also voted to pursue Texas Treasure Business Awards for local businesses that have been continuously owned by the same family or have operated in the same building for at least 50 years. If you believe your business might be eligible, please contact Lee Haygood, Spencer Hanes, Kate Estrada, or Wendy Wright for more information.


This week is the 50 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I watched the original live news report of the lift off and of Astronaut Neil Armstrong taking his first step onto the moon. I was moved to tears by the significance of those moments while I watched. Fifty years ago, humans found a way to walk on a celestial body and yet cell phones were not even invented. I’m amazed how NASA and the astronauts were able to accomplish this astonishing feat without all of the current technology that we rely on today. They were pioneers, no doubt about it. It reminds me of the early pioneers who moved into the Texas Panhandle in the 1800s. So much of the land was unknown to them, unfamiliar, and unforgiving. And those early pioneers settled here with even less technology and they survived. I tip my hat to all of the pioneers who were braver than I ever was in my youth. Thank you for venturing outside your comfort zone and providing future generations a new way of life. 


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