A few years ago, I visited the Heritage Museum of Big Spring in Texas. What I found there gave me more pleasure than any museum I’ve ever been in.
The building, a modest little brick one, was laid out as a museum, with a series of rooms all displaying things related to a particular theme. The collections included historical farm equipment, taxidermy of all sorts of animals, and a display of firearms.
But the museum also had something else. It was laid out as a living history museum, with exhibits that acted the way people would act in a historical context. There was a general store, with shelves stocked with real things you could buy, and a post office, with real stamps and a real message being delivered. There was a blacksmith shop, with a blacksmith demonstrating his craft, using real tools, making a metal pot by pounding it in a huge hammer.
In the nearby town, there was a stagecoach stop where stagecoaches were parked, and you could watch real longhorn cattle being herded, and people working in the fields, and, of course, people riding horses.
The Heritage Museum was one of the finest things I’ve ever seen. It was a museum and a living history museum, and that combination made it magical.
The Heritage Museum of Big Spring is an emerging museum and science center. It shares its space with the West Texas Historical Foundation, the West Texas Air and Space Museum, and the George Ryan Planetarium.
About the museum
The museum exhibits cover a range of subjects, including: the geological history of the area; the history of Big Spring and West Texas; the exhibits on the space program and on the Chinese space program; and exhibits on the Plains Indians.
The Heritage Museum of Big Spring Texas (HMBS) is committed to preserving and sharing the heritage of the Big Spring TX area. Founded in 1975, HMBS supports its educational mission through exhibits, educational programs, collections, and publications.
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