Childress County Heritage Museum

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Coordinates: 34°25′26″N 100°12′29″W / 34.423968°N 100.207984°W / 34.423968; -100.207984

The Childress County Heritage Museum at 210 Third Street in Childress, Texas
Kitchen exhibit at Childress County Heritage Museum

The Childress County Heritage Museum is a local and regional historical museum located in Childress, Texas. It is housed at 210 Third Street near the First Baptist Church in a former U.S. Post Office building that was constructed in 1935. A project of the American Bicentennial observance, the museum was launched on January 12, 1976, at the site of the previous county jail at the Childress County Courthouse. The late A.V. McFarland served as the first museum president and curator. In 1981, the post office was purchased by Eugene Smith (1908–1985) and Janet Norris Smith (1909–2002)[1] and donated to the museum board in memory of their parents. The current structure opened in 1983. [2]

In 1991, the Texas Historical Commission designated the museum, which is designed in Spanish colonial architecture, as an historic landmark. Overall exhibits include Indian artifacts, theater memorabilia, West Texas materials, and school and period rooms.[3]

The museum has an exhibit on the former Childress Army Airfield used during World War II to train bombardiers.[4] Construction on the facility, located west of Childress, began in the spring of 1942. An activation ceremony was held in October, and Colonel John W. White assumed command on November 24. New classes began every three weeks until the end of the war. The initial 18-week training program was thereafter extended to twenty-four weeks. The first class of cadets began training in February 1943 and graduated in May. Until the end of the war, the airfield graduated 35 classes with a total of 4,791 bombardier-navigators. These men represented 10 percent of the total American output of such fliers.[4]

Executive director Steve Craig shown in the museum lobby

The related Michie Transportation Museum at the corner of Main Street and Avenue D Northwest, is a 1926 service station and automobile sales agency that was preserved in the late 1990s. It houses antique vehicles, buggy, and railroad displays. This facility is open on Saturdays in the summer, for special events, or by appointment.[2]

The museum itself is open without admission charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and by appointment.[3] Steve Craig (born 1965) of Childress is the museum executive director.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Childress, Texas: Where the Past Never Grows Old". biz.childresstexas.net. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Childress", Texas State Travel Guide, 2010, p. 119
  4. ^ a b "Childress Army Airfield Exhibit". biz.childresstexas.net. Retrieved September 13, 2010.