Featuring a 1930s Art Deco building (later enlarged), the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum at West Texas A&M University is the region’s largest history museum — the biggest in the entire state, in fact. The museum contains several exhibits dedicated to the Red River War scattered throughout its massive 285,000 square feet, including countless military objects (rifles, bullet shells, uniforms, horseshoes) and Native American artifacts (headdresses, pottery, leather goods). Of particular interest to history buffs is the museum’s third-floor research center, accessible to the public on weekday afternoons. The extensive archival collection includes published material about the Red River War, military correspondence, copies of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, journal entries, newspaper articles, oral histories, academic papers, historian T. Lindsay Baker’s research material from the seminal Red River War book Adobe Walls and myriad historic photos.
There is also an expansive collection of artifacts on natural and cultural heritage includes several related to World War I. A display on Lt. William Younger, a local who fought in the war with the 129th Field Artillery Regiment alongside future president Harry Truman, features his cavalry boots, spurs, canteen, and cartridge belt. After the war, Lt. Younger returned home and became superintendent of schools in nearby Tulia, where the high school football field is named in his honor.
In addition to its extensive war-related resources, the Museum contains several floors’ worth of intriguing objects (more than 3 million artifacts are in its collection) related to regional history, including dinosaur skeletons, geological displays, wind and oil exhibits and numerous art galleries. Ranching exhibits include reconstructions of cattleman Charles Goodnight’s log cabin and the 1870s T-Anchor Ranch House.
The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, through the generous donation of Amarillo National Bank, has a secondary location in Amarillo at the Historic Federal Building located at 620 S. Tyler Street which features PPHM World War I artifacts and other changing exhibitions.
Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
Adults: $10, Ages 65 and over: $9, Ages 4-12: $5
Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (extended summer hours). Closed major holidays.