Saints' Roost Museum

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Entrance sign at Saints' Roost Museum in Clarendon, Texas.
Former Adair Hospital houses Saints' Roost Museum
Fort Worth and Denver Railway depot at Saints' Roost Museum
Ranch house at the Saints' Roost

The Saints' Roost Museum in Clarendon, Texas, United States, features heirlooms from Panhandle ranches, farms, and businesses as well as a renovated railroad depot and a collection of materials from the Red River War.[1] The unusual name of the museum is derived from Clarendon having been established in 1878 as a prohibition community by a Methodist clergyman, L.H. Carhart. A "sobriety settlement" in contrast to typical boom towns of that era, Clarendon acquired the sobriquet "Saints Roost" from local cowboys.[2]

The Fort Worth and Denver Railway depot was moved to the Saints' Roost location in 1996 and fully restored. A kitchen area has been placed behind the ticket office. The original depot dates to 1887, when the railroad reached both Clarendon, the seat of Donley County, and Amarillo some sixty miles to the west. The replica depot contains some of the materials used in the original building, which was improved twice in the early 20th century.[3]

Another focus of the museum, the Red River War was a military campaign launched by the United States Army in 1874 to remove various Indian tribes, including the Comanche under Chief Quanah Parker, from the Southern Great Plains and relocate them to reservations in the former Indian Territory (since Oklahoma).

The Saints’ Roost is housed in the former Adair Hospital, founded in 1910, primarily for the use of local cowboys, by the matriarch of the nearby JA Ranch, Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair. Mrs. Adair maintained a home in Clarendon when she desired to leave ranch headquarters. She was also the owner of Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal, Ireland, now an Irish national park, from 1885, on the death of her second husband, John George Adair, until her own passing in 1921.[4]

The museum holds an annual fundraising benefit in September, the Charles Goodnight Chuckwagon Cookoff.[5] It has exhibits on Goodnight, a legendary Texas cattleman who invented the chuckwagon, and Harold Dow Bugbee, a Western artist, both of whom claimed Clarendon as their home.[6] The museum is located at 610 East Harrington Street just off Texas State Highway 70 South. Regular hours are Wednesdays through Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum is further available by appointment through 806-874-2746. There is no sign on United States Highway 287 directing motorists to the Saints' Roost. Visitors should take the southbound turn off Highway 287 to Turkey to reach the Saints' Roost.[7]

Clarendon is also the home of the S.W. Lowe House, a Panhandle ranching landmark since 1904 built in the Queen Anne-Victorian style with elegant furnishings. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lowe House is three blocks south of U.S. Highway 287 at the corner of Taylor Street and Fifth Avenue. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.[8]

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