CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Nestled on the campus of West Texas A&M University is one of the largest history museums in the State of Texas: The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM).

PPHM staff said the museum is filled with more than three million artifacts. 

“Anything from petroleum, to art, to cattle, ranching, history, and all of that and a lot of kind of obscure, but still connecting changing exhibits throughout the years,” said PPHM Marketing Specialist Anna Parsons. 

Parsons walked our intrepid team through some of her favorite spots at PPHM, like the Texas Gallery which is the only permanent gallery in the state devoted to Texas art.

“What’s great about our art exhibits is you get a plethora of artists that either come through Texas, studied in Texas, or lived in Texas, and you get a bunch of different styles you would never expect,” said Parsons.

If art is not what you are after, you can take in the story of black gold, Texas tea.

“You can really see exhibits that are built to convey workers back then or even now building oil rigs and just equipment that they would use every day in order to pull oil out of the ground,” said Parsons. “We have the history of our petroleum story in the Texas Panhandle. So if you walk through here, you can see the different drills that they use to drill in and, you know, get the oil

that we use every day, you know, for cars and what have you.”

You can also check out the exbibit of what petroleum fuels.

“We are in our automobile exhibit, which has a like a ton of cars from at least 1910 and that also includes motorcycles and bicycles. So you can find a lot of different styles of vehicles here, but what’s also cool is Amarillo is kind of the midway point of Route 66,” said Parsons.

There is also an opportunity to travel back to the time before the automobile, in Pioneertown.

“[Pioneertown] is very reminiscent of those Texas Panhandle residents who first established towns here in the 1890s. So you could really see where they started, and then you can see reminiscence in like small towns in Texas, like where they’ve come from, from that time.”

All of these exhibits continue the role of the museum, which remains the same as it was in 1921: “Collect the record of life here and hand this on to the children of the future.”

“It’s more than just artifacts. We’re making connections here,” said Parsons. “We just have a lot of rich history in this area and it’s such a great small town to come and visit.”

The museum has plenty of summer activities planned for the family. For events and admission information, click here.