The late J. Marvin Hunter, Sr., former Bandera resident and founder of the community’s Frontier Times Museum, once remarked that he did not collect items so much as they collected him. Hunter established the museum in the 1930’s and passed away in 1957 but the collection continues to grow. At over thirty thousand items to date, the attraction has obviously yet to subside. Composed of relics associated with early frontier days, the collection features a trunk once owned by female gambler Lottie Deno, a selection of Edison phonographs, antique hand tools, and rodeo memorabilia. It also includes foreign oddities like a collection of four hundred rare bells including Russian sleighbells and bells designed to be worn by elephants. A Gallery of Western Art, featuring work by Texas artists, adds a contemporary edge to the museum. The original museum building, considered a work of art as well, is an unusual architectural creation constructed from native stone. The stone, appropriated from surrounding fields, creek beds, and an 1878 rock fence, comprise the essence of classic hand-made Hill Country vernacular, an unofficial style characterized by its use of local materials carefully selected for their unique, and natural, designs.
510 13th Street Bandera, TX 78003