Posted May 25, 2020
Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum will be reopening on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 9 a.m.
We follow recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the Texas Dept. of Health Services, the City of Crosbyton, and the Lubbock Health Department. As those recommendations change, we will update this site.
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Archeological remains of bison and mastodon that roamed the Great Staked Plains thousands of years ago are found in CCPMM's West Wing.
The Llano Estacado was the hunting grounds for Comanche, Apache, Kiowa, and other tribal Indians. Over 25,000 archeological pieces representing these cultures are housed in the Wayne J. Parker Center.
The 1870s saw an influx of Anglo settlers onto the Great Plains of Texas. While still a hunting ground for native Americans, it quickly became the last stopping place for Anglos seeking land and yearning for adventure!
The Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum is a non-profit entity organized under the City of Crosbyton and committed to improving the community through positive actions and talented leadership.
Begun in 1958 with 9,000 sq. ft., the museum complex has grown to 52,000 sq. ft. (2019), incorporating two buildings with six main areas. It is funded by the Percy and Zina Lamar Foundation and through grants and private donations.
For over 60 years, CCPMM's presence has contributed significantly to education, enrichment, historical preservation, and esthetic development of the region.
Serving communities. Schools throughout the Great Plains area bring students to the museum for tours, events, and classes.
Both museum locations, 101 West Main and 211 East Aspen, provide rental spaces for special events, meetings, family reunions, and many other occasions. Local 4-H events, Crosby County Extension programs, the American Growers Association, Crosby County Historical Commission, Crosbyton Lions Club, and other organizations hold regular meetings in CCPMM's spacious meeting rooms at 101 West Main.
Call for rental fees and information. 806.675.2331
Georgia Mae & Stanley G. Ericson Farm and Ranch Museum. In 2013, CCPMM purchased additional museum space at 211 E. Aspen in Crosbyton. The west end of this 34,000 sq. ft. building is being developed as a farm and ranch museum while the east end serves as a venue for community events and provides farm equipment rental space.
The Ericson Farm & Ranch Museum is named for Georgia Mae and Stanley Ericson. Georgia Mae Ericson was a granddaughter of Hank and Elizabeth Boyle Smith, first Anglo settlers in the region.
Call for rental fees and information. 806.675.2331
The First Anglo settlers in Crosby County. In the mid 1870s, Hank and Elizabeth Smith, with their young family, ventured into the Texas Panhandle from Ft. Griffin, Texas to establish their home in the wild and uninhabited Blanco Canyon. Hank Smith (Heinrich Schmidt), who came to New York from Germany as a teen, worked his way across the United States to Ohio, then down into Texas where he established a hotel at Ft. Griffin. There he married a Scotswoman, Elizabeth Boyle. Both adventuresome, they soon moved onto the Llano Estacado, settling about seven miles north of present-day Crosbyton where they built a stone home and raised their six children. Hank ranched, cultivated friendships among Native Americans, and served as a hotelier for visitors. Elizabeth was the area postmistress until 1912.
A replica of Smith's limestone home serves as the northern-most part of the museum. The Hank Smith Room contains information and memorabilia about Hank and Elizabeth Smith and their descendants.
Crosby County, Texas, named for early Texan Stephen F. Crosby, was est. 1876 and formally organized in 1886. Its first county seat was founded in 1879 by a group of English Quakers under the leadership of Paris Cox from Ohio. The town initially was named Marietta but was renamed Estacado in 1881 since a Texas post office called Marietta already existed. In its heyday, the thriving little town of Estacado had a population of about 600, both Quaker and non-Quaker residents, along with merchants, blacksmiths, lawyers, a barber shop, and a newspaper. It served a large area as the seat of government and commerce on the Southern Texas Plains. When its Quaker settlers returned to Ohio in the mid 1890s, some of its families began moving to a more central part of the new county and there established a town they called Emma. In a hotly-contested county-seat election with Estacado in 1891, Emma won by six votes, and for a few years, retained that distinction. In 1910, construction began on the South Plains Railroad, promising an increase in commerce for towns fortunate enough to have the railroad come through them. The railroad's right-of-way missed Emma by five miles, continuing northeastward to another new town, Crosbyton. This resulted in a further population shift, and by 1910, when a county-seat election was held, the new town of Crosbyton won the county government location by a hefty 62 votes, moving the courthouse for the third and last time.
The two once-promising towns of Estacado and Emma gradually dwindled in population, then disappeared, leaving only the Emma and Estacado cemeteries to mark their existence.
Summer Saturdays at the Museum. In 2016, the museum initiated a summer fine arts program with courses presented by the Lubbock Caprock Quilters Guild and the Amarillo Weavers Association. In subsequent summers, the museum has hosted classic movies, fibre-arts classes, and painting classes.
Quilting classes have proved a perennial favorite with beginning and intermediate classes projected for Summer 2020.
Painting classes will be taught in the summer of 2020.
Fibre-arts enthusiasts can look forward in 2020 to demonstrations in dying wool, spinning and weaving, and guerilla knitting (Yard Bombing).
Come in to see our year-round fibre-arts exhibits in the main auditorium. For more information, contact us at 806.675.2331.
From CCPMM's beginnings in 1958, quilts have been an important part of the museum's permanent collection. These hand-made treasures are gifts from families and individuals throughout the South Plains and include log cabin, Irish chain, velvet crazy quilts, and other traditional patterns, representing an era of hand-pieced practical, durable quilts, intended to be washed and used, eventually transforming them into beautifully-mellowed pieces. Most were created ca 1850s thru 1940s.
SUMMER QUILTING CLASSES —
Each summer and fall, the museum sponsors quilting classes taught by local master quilter Barbara Hadderton whose works currently are on display in the museum auditorium. With a keen work ethic and a committed interest in teaching youth to quilt, Barbara focuses on machine piecing and latest quilting techniques. Cost is $10 per class. Pattern will be provided by the museum and can be picked up in our office in advance, along with a list of supplies. For more information, call: 806.675.2331 or Barbara Hadderton at: 806.252.6215
2020 Summer Quilting Classes currently are discontinued but will be resumed in Summer 2021, and possibly earlier. Please check with our office for latest scheduling information. 806.675.2331
Caprock Quilters Guild, a very active art-quilting group in Lubbock, has works on display in CCPMM in alternate years.
Lubbock Caprock Quilters Guild. 2017.
Wayne J. Parker (1938-1992) was a self-taught anthropologist heavily vested in the folkways of Indian tribes that roamed the Staked Plains of Texas. A graduate of West Texas State University, Parker spent 42 years amassing a collection of over 23,000 locally-found points and other abandoned artifacts. After his death in 1992, the Parker family donated portions of his collection to CCPMM. In 1994, Rick Walter, CCPMM Project Archeologist, prepared the collection for exhibit at CCPMM, photographing and cataloguing each object. Walter also compiled a series of bound books describing this amazing collection. Mrs. Alice Faye Parker's extensive collection of New Mexico and Caddo pottery also is on display in the Parker Center. To house the Parker artifacts, the children of Wayne and Alice Parker have provided CCPMM with beautifully hand-crafted oak exhibit cases.
It is CCPMM's distinct privilege to house these acquisitions, making them available to visitors and scholars.
Choise Smith (1938- ) is the great-grandson of the area's first settlers, Hank and Elizabeth Boyle Smith.
As youths, Choise Smith and his childhood friend, Wayne J. Parker, were drawn to the wonders of Blanco Canyon and the mysteries it held of Native Americans who once roamed its creeks and bluffs. Although the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches had been relegated to reservations 75 years prior, their hunting grounds, camping sites, and trails remained relatively undisturbed, resulting in a rich opportunity for two teenage boys to explore and discover.
Today, Choise Smith is considered a gifted scholar of local Indian history and a rich resource of information which he generously shares.
On any given day, Choice may be found at the museum working with his American Indian artifacts collection, teaching school children, or chatting with museum visitors about the history of Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache culture. Choise is available on a limited basis for Parker Center tours. Call the museum to schedule! 806.675.2331
In 2019, Crosby County resident Barbara Dunn, wife of the late Crosby County farmer, Darrell Dunn, endowed CCPMM with beautifully-preserved animal mounts from her husband's hunting collection, the result of his many hunting trips to Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and various parts of Texas. These include moose, bear, caribou, sheep, ibis, deer, elk, along with Pacific northwest aquatic animals. All are on display in the Wayne J. Parker Center.
Curtis Fort, well-known Western bronze artist and painter, will be showing his work at CCPMM in 2020. Fort, a New Mexico native, is best known for his sculptures of cowboys and Western scenes. His bronze work is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian in Washington DC, Chicago's Field Museum, and the Cowboy Museum in Cody, Wyoming. Fort has a large following of collectors all over the world, and his work has been featured in many publications. He continues to market his work through galleries, private shows, museum exhibitions, and juried art shows. Exhibit dates to be announced.
In 2020, the museum will be featuring a night with historical storyteller Annalon Gilbreath. Ms. Gilbreath is well known across West Texas for her portrayals of "Mary Ann Goodnight" and "Texas Women: Saints, Sinners, and Somewhere in Between." She has performed with the National Cowboy Symposium, the Celebration of Light Storytelling Festival, and at the Haley Library and History Center in Midland. Date to be announced. Call for more info: 806.675.2331
1. Where is CCPMM located? CCPMM has two locations. Our main campus, 101 West Main, is on the town square in Crosbyton, Texas on Texas Hwy. 82/114. The Ericson Farm & Ranch Museum is one block away at 221 East Aspen St. The town of Crosbyton is 36 mi. east of Lubbock, 120 mi. south of Amarillo, and about 360 mi. northwest of Ft. Worth, Texas. GPS coordinates: 33.6601° N, 101.2379° W
2. What are your days and hours of operation? The main campus at 101 West Main is open Tuesday - Saturday, 9am-12pm and 1-5pm. The museum is closed for the Thanksgiving weekend and from December 18-January 3. We are open on July 4 and for most national and school holidays. The Ericson Farm Museum is open by appointment only. Call in advance: 806.675.2331
3. What kind of museum is CCPMM? CCPMM is a county history museum representing the 144-year development of Crosby County, Texas.
4. Do you still accept objects? Yes. Although our scope is roughly 1880s thru 1950s, we still accept gift items as they fit our mission.
5. How do I rent space at either location? Call us for more information: 806.675.2331
Noted German author Karl May wrote about American Western life in the early 1900s. His works have captured the imagination of American Western literature enthusiasts from all over the world. CCPMM is a member of the Karl May Society and hosts its members on their periodic visits to America. CCPMM's library contains the entire works of Karl May along with annual publications from the Karl May Society. Karl May's works and publications are available to visitors and scholars for in-house research.
CCPMM's East Wing features a facsimile of a typical Plains half-dugout. Dugouts were habitable sites used across the central US from the late 1870s throughout the 1930s. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, families found them to be welcomed refuges from the blowing sand storms that plagued the Mid West.
On loan from Julia Johnston Montgomery, this early automobile was refurbished by Julia's father, Joseph Johnston, Crosbyton resident and automobile enthusiast. "The Brush" is on display in the Walker Wing of the museum.
This 3/4-size oil painting of cowboy Hinton Fluitt was commissioned by CCPMM in 1965 and is painted by well-known Lubbock artist Lonnie Mason. Its subject, Hinton Fluitt (1909-1964), represents in many ways the Plains cowboy hero: a man whose word was his bond, a straight-shooter with integrity and rugged determination; a man who gave an honest day's work for a day's pay, was never a bully, had compassion and unending patience. His job lasted from sunup to sunset.
Hinton Fluitt was born at Wrightsboro, Gonzales County, Texas and got his first taste of cowboying at age 15 on his uncle's ranch. He "took to it" like a duck to water and remained involved with cows and ranching his entire life. He married Mary Belle Smith (1910-2006). Fluitt died at McAdoo, Dickens County in 1964 and is buried in the Post, Texas Cemetery in Garza County.
Among Crosbyton's most interesting buildings are two Smith Houses, both built in the early 20th Century with similar Prairie-School architectural style—high ceilings with clerestory windows, spacious rooms with oak floors, built-in closets and bookcases. One Smith House served as home to a large family while the other was a business. Both still are used for those purposes today.
The Sep Smith House on Farmer Avenue covers a 1/4 of a city block, and in its hey-day in the 1920s, was the site of entertaining and comfortable hospitality. Persian rugs covered its oak floors while original art graced its 12-ft. walls. A hand-blown glass chandelier hung in the dining room above an oak table that seated twelve. This home had built-in bathrooms in an era when outhouses were still the local norm. Its kitchen featured a dumb waiter while heat from its basement's coal furnace was piped throughout the home. Locals stated that Sep Smith's teenage children rolled back the living room rugs, brought in bands, and held dances on its well-polished oak floors. This Smith House has been owned in recent times by local artist Joe Taylor.
The "other" Smith House, situated on a quarter block on Aspen Avenue, was commissioned by C&B Livestock Co. about 1918. C&B Livestock Co. owned the land on which Crosbyton was founded and in 1918 was busy selling off tracts and enticing businesses to the town. The Smith House was est. primarily as a bed & breakfast for C&B's business associates, as guest registers indicate. The Aspen Street Smith House was staffed by Chicago hoteliers J. Frank and Minnie Smith. Like its counterpart on Farmer Avenue, it also featured bathrooms, high ceilings, oak floors and Persian rugs, but this Smith House had an outside kitchen at the back, far away from the main house in case of a kitchen fire. The grounds featured landscaped gardens, walking paths, and a goldfish pond. Mrs. Smith, whose interest was the gardens, imported bulbs and planted trees foreign to this area while her husband's primary role was chef and host. The J. Frank Smiths later bought the Aspen Avenue Smith House, continuing their interests in hotel management thru the 1950s. After Mrs. Smith's death, a relative, Mrs. Mae Trulock managed the hotel. The building is still a successful bed & breakfast, currently owned by local resident, Jim Hurt. The Smith House's guest registers contain the signatures of famous early-day visitors to Crosbyton. Memorabilia and photos from both Smith Houses can be found in CCPMM's collections.
Granite plaques in the Hank Smith Room and the McCurdy (East) Wing contain the names of early-day Crosby County settlers who moved to the area before 1920. Biographical information is available for each name.
The museum's voluminous obituary collection can be searched by museum personnel and copies made for a minimal charge of $.10/page. We also will be glad to search and copy from our history files, many containing genealogical information and photographs. As time allows, our staff is happy to assist visitors with additional family history research. Please call our office in advance of a visit to learn more about our services. 806.675.2331
CCPMM volunteers are among the museum's best assets. They enable its mission and goals by bringing specific interests and talents to its diverse projects. Volunteers serve as board and committee members and as outreach liaisons to the public. To find out more about the CCPMM Volunteer Program, call 806.675.2331.
In 2019, CCPMM volunteers logged over 560 volunteer hours. Volunteer projects included:
We welcome you! Call us at 806.675.2331 or zip an e-mail to email@example.com. Let us know your interests. At CCPMM, you will be appreciated!
1. Do I have to know a lot of history to volunteer at CCPMM? A knowledge of specific history is not necessary to volunteer. Just let us know what your interests are. We'll find a match for you!
2. I can't come to the museum on a regular basis. Do you have something I can do just once or twice? Yes! There are plenty of projects small in scope—we'll find one that fits your time limits. We're grateful for whatever time you can contribute to CCPMM.
3. Is there heavy lifting involved? Sometimes. We will assign tasks based on your abilities and our needs.
4. Can I earn professional development credits as a CCPMM volunteer? You will sign in and log your hours at CCPMM. At the end of your task, we will provide you with a certificate showing the hours you accrued.
Sun Rising on the West: The Saga of Henry Clay & Elizabeth Smith
by W. Hubert Curry
(Crosbyton, Texas: CCPMM, 1979)
$40.00 + $3.30 tax + $5 shipping = $48.30
A History of Crosby County, Texas
by Nellie Witt Spikes and Temple Ann Ellis
(Ralls, Texas: privately published, 1952, repr. 1983)
$55.00 + $4.54 tax + $5 shipping = $64.54
A History of Crosby County 1876-1977
pub. by Crosby County Historical Commission
(Crosbyton, Texas: Taylor Pub. Co, Dallas, Texas, 1978; repr. 1983)
$70.00 + $5.77 tax + $5 shipping = $80.77
Estacado: Cradle of Culture and Civilization on the Staked Plains of Texas
by John Cooper, Jenkins, et al
(Crosbyton, Texas: Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum, 1986)
$20.00 + $1.65 tax + $5 shipping = $26.65
Gone, But Not Forgotten: Cemetery Survey of Crosby County
compiled by the Crosbyton Cemetery Assoc. & Crosby County Historical Commission
(Crosbyton, Texas: Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum, 1983)
$20.00 + $1.65 tax + $5 shipping = $26.65
Aunt Hank's Rockhouse Cookbook
compiled by Georgia Mae Smith Ericson, granddaughter of the Hank Smiths
(Crosbyton, Texas: CCPMM & Crosby County Historical Commission, 1977)
$100.00 + $8.25 tax + $5.00 shipping = $113.25
See each museum website for fees and hours.
We love visitors—feel free to visit during business hours.
101 W Main St, Crosbyton, Texas 79322, United States
09:00 am – 05:00 pm
CCPMM is a member of the West Texas Historical Association, The Texas Historical Commission, Texas Plains Trail Region Association, American Association of State and Local History, and the American Association of Museums.