A CHRONICLER OF HISTORY
The Marfa and Presidio County Museum is located along Highway 90, the main thoroughfare intersecting the west Texas town of Marfa. The Museum is housed in a historic adobe home built in the 1880s by local Don Juan Humphries. The collection includes a little bit of everything associated with Marfa and the history of Presidio County, including artifacts that cover ranching, local military history (courtesy of Fort D. A. Russell), geology, settlers, Native Americans, and the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. In addition, a display of Marfa’s history is never complete without memorabilia from the Hollywood blockbuster “Giant”, the 1950’s epic starring James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson filmed around Marfa.
Of particular interest is the Museum’s collection of panoramic photography and glass negatives by Frank Duncan. Francis (Frank) Duncan was born in Missouri in 1878 and spent his childhood living in both California and Texas. As an adult, Duncan developed skills as a photographer, living in Canada during the first few decades of the 20th century and operating a photography studio in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. To supplement his income, Duncan sold subscriptions for the local paper, the Salmon Arm Observer, and bartered for goods and services with fresh-caught fish. Duncan also lived and worked in Mexico, Alaska, and Oregon, prospecting and supervising mining operations before moving to west Texas. He made homes in Presidio, Terlingua and, finally, Marfa in 1916, opening Duncan Photography Company. The Marfa Presidio County Museum houses 2,200 of Duncan's glass and film negatives, taken during Duncan’s years in the Big Bend.
Marfa and Presidio County Museum