Heritage, Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 1994 Page: 20
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Historic Tour of
Texarkana Museums System
By Tina M. Veal
Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprise.
In 1970, when Offenhauser and Company
offered its glorious 1879 building to the twin cities
of Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Arkansas,
for use as a museum, the Texarkana Historical
Society and Museum (as it was then known),
seized that small opportunity and began a great
enterprise. Today the Texarkana Museums Systems
(the name was changed to reflect the progressive
growth) consists of three outstanding
museum institutions and is accredited by the
American Association of Museums. For more
than 20 years, the Texarkana Museums System
has opened a window into the past for Texarkana
citizens and visitors from around this country and
The Texarkana Museums System's foundation
lies in its first opportunity, the Texarkana Historical
Museum. This structure, a 1901 building,
incorporates an earlier 1870's two-story brick
structure into its fabric. Visitors view exhibits on
pre-history and the Caddo Indian culture including
tools, weapons, and pottery. Additionally,
they are able to explore the early history of
Texarkana and its people and-visit period room
exhibits, such as an 1885 kitchen, a Victorian
parlor, a 1900's drug store and doctor's office, a
1915 business office, and a 1920's barber shop.
The Joplin Exhibit features memorabilia concerning
native son Scott Joplin, the great ragtime
composer. Most recently the Texarkana Historical
Museum enhanced the visitor's perception
through an audio-guided tour complete with
character voices and sound effects.
The second small opportunity was a lucky
draw of cards in 1985 when Olivia Smith Moore
bequeathed the splendidly designed Ace of Clubs
House and its furnishings to the Texarkana Historical
Society and Museum. Built in 1885 by Shown above is the Historical Museum and, opposite, the Music Room of the Ace of Clubs House
20 HERITAGE * WINTER 1994
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 1994, periodical, Winter 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46807/m1/20/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.