Heritage, Volume 04, Number 02, Fall 1986

operating. Those who did the work were
more numerous than those who made the
fortunes, and the museum tells the story
of those who have contributed so much to
Texas.
On the way to the "Down Hole Tool"
exhibit, the visitor suddenly encounters a
huge window through which he views the
"Oil Patch." Over half of the second floor
is devoted to a life size diorama that is the
oil patch. It is complete with a rig under
construction, a wooden pump jack, a
pipeline being laid, an oil well pulling
unit at work, a flare spewing flaming gas,
and various other activities peculiar to oil
field work.
In order to get into the patch, the visitor
walks through "Down Hole Tools"
where he enters the subdued lighting of
an underground environment and is surrounded
by walls of exposed geologic
strata while his ears are assailed by the
sound of drilling operations. Exposed

along one wall are twelve openings, each
illustrating a well bore and each containing
a specific type of drilling or fishing
tool. Strung out on a platform along the
opposite wall is a "string" of cable tool
drilling tools.
Emerging from "Down Hole Tools",
the visitor is immediately in the "Oil
Patch" walking through the world of the
oil man, surrounded by the proof of his
work. Well prepared labels, containing
historic photographs, expand the visitor's
knowledge of the technology surrounding
him.
Inside a large storage tank is a movie
theater where once each hour a sixteen
minute presentation employing six slide
projectors and one movie projector present
"Dreams and Discoveries: The Early
Days of Panhandle Oil and Gas". The
production was prepared using only historic
photographs and movie footage shot
during the 1926-1930 period.

After leaving the movie, the visitor
wanders through a natural gasoline plant
and learns how gasoline is manufactured
from casinghead gas. Next, there is a
wholesale petroleum product distributorship
and a late 1930's filling station representative
of the kind drivers once saw on
U.S. 66.
From the time the visitor enters the petroleum
area until he leaves it, he travels
through time and learns how oil people
lived and worked during the boom days.
Finally he sees the retailed result of the
oil business. The concept allows the visitor
to understand the oil and gas business
as it was during the days of discovery and
development.
The new wing is open to the public on
a daily basis.
Kit Neumann works for the Field and
Museum Services Department of the
Texas Historical Commission.

IN A STATE OF UNUSUAL PRESERVATION
by Henry B. Moncure

The archeological record available
through investigation is virtually always
incomplete, being a collection of evidence
subject to the accident of preservation.
What is meant by this often repeated
statement is that the vast majority of recovered
artifacts are made of some durable
material and that the record left us is
leavened only slightly by a smattering of
items composed of more fragile material
found in a state of unusual preservation.
Few instances of unusual preservation can
match those recently encountered in a
mid-nineteenth century vintage house in
Bastrop, Texas.
The house, within the original Bastrop
town limits, is now in a state of advanced
deterioration. With its roof partially
gone, some walls down, its brick chimneys
collapsed or crumbling and its
porches and dormers gone, the structure
gives scant evidence of its former form
and proportions. The chimney remains of
a log cabin, an intact but rebuilt log barn,
a brick lined well missing its windlass, a
windmill missing works and vanes, and a
collection of collapsed or moldering outbuildings
hint at a once thriving but now
neglected homestead.

z

Wash Jones' 1856 house in 1936 with impressive two story, gabled portico entrance intact. Courtesy of
the Fannie Ratchford files, Hornaday Collection of the Texas State Archives.
31

Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 04, Number 02, Fall 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45442/. Accessed July 24, 2014.