Museum celebrates 75th anniversary
By Judith Pannebaker
Everyone agreed, Friday, Feb. 28, turned out to be the perfect day for a celebratory luncheon on the beautiful grounds of the Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th Street.
As one museum maven noted, “This was long overdue.”
The brainchild of Jim McLean, the luncheon featured tables loaded with German, Polish, Mexican and good ole cowboy cuisine. Not only did the get-together introduce the museum’s new board of directors and officers, the event also honored volunteers and supporters of one of Bandera’s oldest traditions.
Over the years, J. Marvin Hunter, an amateur historian and penultimate newspaper man, accumulated a vast repository of books, photographs, pioneer heirlooms, Indian artifacts and other treasured relics. Realizing that his collection of historic memorabilia was vulnerable to the ravages of time and fire, Hunter explored ways to finance construction of a suitable structure for his assemblage of treasures.
Hunter eventually financed a fieldstone building by offering a special five dollars for a two-year subscription to the Frontier Times, a monthly collection of well-written narratives about life in the Wild West magazine, and a copy of a book he authored several years earlier, “The Authentic History of Sam Bass and His Gang.”
According to Hunter, “an immediate and very generous” response garnered him funds to construct the Frontier Times Museum.
At the formal opening of the museum on May 20, 1933, more than 1,000 people attended, traveling to Bandera from all across the state.
This year, the Frontier Times Museum will mark its 75th anniversary with a series of programs, “Hats Off to the Cowboy.” The next offering, a celebration of the American Cowboy with music and poetry, begins at 4 pm, Saturday, March 22. The event features Don Hedgpeth, a well known local musician, poet and author. Also performing original poetry will be Steve Smith, a practicing modern day cowboy.
Current officers with the museum’s board of trustees are President Johnny Boyle, Vice President Dan Wise, Secretary Theresa Helbert, Treasurer Julian Tallichet, Parliamentarian and Historian Jim McLean. Trustees include Robert L. Tomasini, Robert L. Koimn, Tom Gadsen, E. Neal Dalton, Ann Edge, Patsy Muller, Pat Harrison, Florida Barnes, Susie Wilson, Eva Lee and George Sharman. Horst Pallaske and Ray Marvin Hay serve as honorary trustees.
Museum staff is Manager Jane Graham, Rose Greenawalt and Delores Rogers with Rebecca Norton, collection management consultant.
For more information, on the March 22 event, call 830-796-3864 or visit email@example.com.
“Join us at the campfire for chuck wagon coffee and a lesson in ‘Cowboy-ology’ through music and poetry,” offered a museum spokesman.