ABOUT THE SQUARE HOUSE MUSEUM
The historic Square House, built of lumber hauled from Dodge City in the 1880's, is just one of 21 buildings, galleries, outdoor diorama, and large outdoor artifacts that make up the Square House Museum complex. Case exhibits and full-sized diorama tell the story of the Texas Panhandle and its people, from mammoth hunters 12,000 years ago, through the Indian Wars, cattle ranches, and the coming of the railroad in the 19th century, to the oil boom of the 1920's and the region's part in the space program of today. A wildlife gallery and two art galleries add other dimensions to the history. Accredited three times by the American Association of Museums, the Square House Museum is considered one of the best small museums in the United States.
The Carson County Square House Museum started with the original Square House, a small house which was built in the late 1880's as the railroad reached to town of Panhandle and as the town was being populated. It ws occupied by early settlers James C. Paul, pioneer banker; Judge J.L. Harrison, rancher; James B. Wilks, innkeeper; and Sheriff Oscar L. Thorp. The house was moved to its site at 5th and Elsie Streets in Panhandle, and after restoration became the nucleus of the present Square House Museum complex with its multiple buildings. The museum was opened in 1967. It was awarded a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark plaque in 1966. It was entered in the National Register in 1973. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. It houses historical artifacts, art, and a Texana library. Traveling and in-house art exhibits are hung in the two art galleries. It has been called a gem of the Texas Panhandle.
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