Texas Heritage, Summer 2001 Page: 12
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THE GRACE MUSEUM
The Grace Museum is actually the
home of three museums -all located in
the historic Grace Hotel. Built in 1909,
the four-story Grace Hotel, a MissionsRevival
style building, is on the National
The History Museum, on the third
floor, holds memorabilia from the Texas
and Pacific Railroad, as well as an array
of restored period rooms. Also in the
History Museum are documents, artifacts,
photographs, and an exhibit of a
hotel room replicating those in the Grace
Hotel when it was built.
The exhibits in The Grace History
Museum trace the physical and social
development of Abilene from 1900-1945
as it grew from a small railroad town to a
bustling modern city. The exhibits also
demonstrate how 20th century urbanization,
modernization, and world events
shaped the lives of individuals as well as
the community as a whole.
102 Cypress Street, (915) 673-4587;
www. thegracemuseum. org
OLD JAIL ART CENTER
The Old Jail Art Center opened in
1980 with four small galleries in the first
permanent jail built in Shackelford
County (1878). Four collections from
Albany natives form the core of the
OJAC permanent collection, which now
numbers more than 1,800 works of art.
The largest area of the permanent collection
consists of modern drawings,
paintings, and prints by such well-known
Americans as John Marin, Alexander
Calder, and Charles Demuth, and
European artists such as Picasso, Renoir,
Modigliani, and Klee.
The OJAC has had three major additions,
one of the newest encompassing
the Sallie Reynolds Matthews Room,
which presents a view of the ranching
heritage of the area in a room that recalls
the headquarters of the Matthews' historic
201 S. Second Street, (915) 762-2269;
Gas station and railroad in Buffalo Gap
BUFFALO GAP HISTORIC
Some things are worth hunting for.
Such is the case of the off-the-beaten
path Buffalo Gap Historic Village. After
leaving the interstate and navigating several
small back roads, the diligent traveler
will discover a museum like few others
in the state. Eighteen buildings ranging
from an 1875 log cabin to a 1925 Texaco
gas station help interpret the develoment
of the Texas frontier as it progressed
across arguably the most important 50
years in the settlement of West Texas. As
visitors approach one cluster of buildings,
they are reminded of the immediate need
for law and order on the frontier. As they
continue their stroll, the next series of
structures interpret the coming of the
railroad and the flowering of commerce
as a result. At the end of the tour, a tworoom
schoolhouse, gas station, and bank
all speak to the importance of education,
capital, and the motor car in completing
the conquest of the frontier.
In 1977, Dr. R. Lee Rode of Abilene
purchased the facility, which was started
in 1956 by Ernie Wilson. At its peak, Dr.
Rode's historic village included 18 buildings,
a collection of nearly 9,000 artifacts,
and hosted some 20,000 visitors a
year. The museum is now run by the
Grady McWhiney Research Foundation.
Located 14 miles south of Abilene on
State Park Hwy. 89, (915) 572-3365;
OLD CITY PARK
Think of Dallas and visions of skyscrapers,
concrete, and freeways come to
mind. But visitors to the Old City Park,
will be surprised to find buildings from
another era nestled among 13 beautifully
wooded acres. The village includes
Victorian-era homes, a depot, hotel, section
house, shotgun house, school
church, log house, tipi, general store, gift
shop, print shop, bank, law office, doctor's
office, and a farmhouse restaurant.
Guests may find themselves struggling
to remember that they are in the middle
of one of the country's largest metropolitan
areas as they stroll through Old City
Park's 1860's living farmstead, complete
with livestock, a vegetable garden, a crop
demonstration field, an outhouse, curing
shed, and even a graveyard. Visitors can
also watch a blacksmith, potter, printer,
and log kitchen cook demonstrate skills
that were vital to the times.
1717 Gano, (214) 421-5141;
THE SIXTH FLOOR
Since November 22, 1963, millions of
people have been drawn to Dealey Plaza
in downtown Dallas, a site where a
tragedy of international significance took
place. On that date U.S. President John
E Kennedy was assassinated as his motorcade
passed through the plaza.
Among the many points of interest for
museum visitors is the opportunity to
gaze through the sixth floor windows
overlooking Dealey Plaza to observe the
route of the presidential motorcade as it
passed in front of this building.
Significantly, the museum places the
HERITAGE E SUMMER 2001
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Summer 2001, periodical, Summer 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45385/m1/12/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.