The "6666 Barn," located at the National Ranching Heritage Center, 3121 4th Street, in Lubbock,
is just one of the many historic buildings, that trace the ranching heritage of the Southwest.
Lubbock's National Ranching Heritage Center,
Traces Southwest Ranching Heritage
by: Bobby McDonald
On the Texas Tech University Campus, the National Ranching Heritage Center, is open Tuesday-Saturday,
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday's from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays and TTU holidays.
"They were a hardy breed of people, who believed that living was much more than simply staying alive, and embraced the tough elements and found inventive ways to 'tame' them, by drilling water wells, adding windmills, and developing the land for use," describes author, John A. Haley, as he writes about the early ranchers, in his Windmills, Droughts, and Cottonseed Cake. "For the most part, they were a people that believed in goals and a purpose, drive and an inherent duty to unshakably strive for that end!"
That's the history of the people you'll be introduced to at Lubbock's National Ranching Heritage Center, located on the Texas Tech University Campus, at 3121 4th Street. The park is a unique museum comprised of 48 authentic dwellings and ranch structures, from some of the country's most historic cattle ranches. Included in the display are: ranch homes and headquarters, windmills, dugouts, bunkhouses, a one-room school house, a depot, shipping pens, a locamotive, caboose and cattle cars, a blacksmith shop, an early mail camp, barns, a cookhouse, carriage house, and much, much more.
Long's Whiteface Camp, circa 1901.
"The towel hanging by that wash basin looked like it had been 'plumb popular,' so many had used it!"
"Ol' Luke had come in from town and the flophouse, and was furnishing bed and board for a whole cavy of those crawlin' homesteaders!
He sat on the side of the bed, in the bunkhouse 'reading his shirt and pants by lamplight,' which meant he was searching the seams
for the critters that crawled."
A visit to the NRHC is an opportunity to "step back in time" and experience the way the real West was won, by the cowboy, the rancher and his family, and all the support people that developed the country's unique ranching heritage.
The first site on the tour is the Los Corralitos, or Little Corals, circa 1780.
Inside the museum are also a number of exhibits, including a quilting exhibit, a firearms exhibit, and a number of static installations, that trace the cattle industry throughout history, with a number of fine art pieces.
The National Ranching Heritage Center has free admission is certainly a "must see" attraction in the Panhandle Region of Texas, as it encompasses some of the most historic artifacts and structures of the ranching southwest.
"The stench in that dugout was so strong the candles were afraid to burn!"
"That ol' cowboy's stink would sure grow horns on a muley cow!"
"By the looks of that Ol' cowboy, some deck's sure mighty shy of a joker!"