CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is the largest history museum in Texas.
“The museum was founded in the 1920s by a professor at West Texas State Normal College, Hattie Anderson,” said Stephanie Price, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. “She looked around her and saw that, ‘you know, history is being made’. And they needed to preserve the stories of this area and the people that made a life here.”
Price said Professor Anderson grabbed like-minded professors and students and formed the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society in the 1920s.
By the 1930s, they had enough money to open a museum.
“The museum opened its doors in April of 1933, and has been a staple of this area ever since. We have had a few renovations since then, considering as it was just the size of the room I’m standing in right now,” she recalled.
How much has the museum expanded in the 90 years since it opened?
It has nearly three million artifacts covering a wide range of subjects tied to the High Plains.
“They’ve all got to tie back to this region and to the stories of people that lived, worked, and played here. So we while we may have art from Europe, or dresses that came from Europe, or things like that, they all tie back to the people in the stories of this region,” Price explained.
A big part of telling those stories: Research and development.
“One of our privileges really as a functional archive within a museum is that we have the luxury of supporting all of the artifacts that are within the museum itself,” said Renea Dauntes, Research Assistant and Archivist at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
The research lab also serves as an archive for the facility.
“We’ve got over 15,000 books, we have 1000s of periodicals throughout the years,” Dauntes said.
Telling the history of the High Plains one artifact at a time.
“We’re excited to be the storytellers in the keepers of this region’s history and share different stories,” Price said.
For more information on PPHM, including operating hours and admission prices, click here.