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Window on the Plains

Driving through the West and Southwest, one notices that every little town seems to have a museum. If the town has a post office, it has a museum. Perhaps it doesn’t even have a post office, but it may have a museum…

I decided to stop by one of these museums, the Window on the Plains Museum, as I was passing through Dumas (pronounced “Doomus”), TX. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much more than a small room with a few Texas “antiques” – items one would usually find at a garage sale or estate sale.

Was I surprised! The museum really did provide a wonderful window into the history of the plains!

[Photographs at end]

The Museum, housed in a large modern building, was brimming with memorabilia and historical artifacts. Most items were donated by family members with deep roots in the prairie. The displays are beautifully restored, well done, and informative. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. It’s easy to spend several hours browsing and chatting.  An art gallery featuring the works of local artists is also part of the complex; they were in the process of hanging pictures for a new exhibition when I visited.

One cannot help but connect with the rugged individualism and confidence of our pioneer ancestors. The displays evoke memories of a past rapidly evaporating, a past dominated by cowboys, ranchers, the oil business, and orderly God-fearing families. A past where independence, integrity, and cooperation were essential ingredients to life and survival.

The museum charges no entry fee and provides a box for donations on the way out. I was so impressed I simply “had to” donate…

Perhaps you, too, will drive through a town in the West one day and see a sign for a museum. Perhaps you might even drive through Dumas, TX, and stop at Window on the Plains Museum – it’s worth it! And as a result perhaps you, too, will remember and better understand what it really means to be an American.

Enjoy the pictures below!  There is much more to experience in the Museum.

Notes:

[1]  Interestingly this eagle has a brown head, not white.  I was told that the Federal Government is very demanding, requires the museum to maintain a license to display the bird, and even inspects annually.  Furthermore, anyone in possession of even a single feather without the proper permits can be prosecuted for poaching – even if the feather was found on the ground!

[2]  Cowboy is Marshall Cator (1902-2002), who ran cows and calves in 5 states.  He was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

[3]  This is the actual Post Office from the town.  It’s about 12 ft. square, excluding the porch.

[4]  The Blacksmith shop seemed to be about 15 ft. square.

[5]  The local doctor also doubled as a dentist and pharmacist.  One can see the examination/dental chair in the corner.

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