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Frontier Times Museum - 80 years young!

Special to the Courier

The Frontier Times Museum is throwing a party to celebrate a milestone birthday and the entire county is invited to join museum staff, volunteers, trustees and friends to mark the occasion.

The museum was opened on May 18, 1933 and it's now time to commemorate 80 years of being an integral part of Bandera. The party will be held on the museum lawn on Saturday, May 18 - and the fun is free.

Festivities begin at 10 am, with live music by those masters of musical mayhem, Tooter and Greg, and will continue until 3 pm with smooth cowboy crooner Lee Harmon taking the stage at noon and the Parrot Duo performing at 1:30 pm. Jim Plunkett and Hoot Gibson will also be on hand with cowboy poetry and story telling.

Children's activities will include beanbag and ring tosses, a haystack treasure hunt and other carnival games. Jacquie Jackson will bring her horses for a painted pony session with the young 'uns. Adults will enjoy a croquet tournament and an ever-popular washer pitch.

At noon, barbeque plates with plenty of brisket, sausage, beans and potato salad will be sold for $8 each, which includes iced tea. Beer and wine will be available by donation.

At 2 pm, the biggest birthday cake in Bandera, courtesy of Dietz McLean Optical, will be presented and there'll be free slices for everyone.

To add to the festive mood, guests are encouraged to wear outfits from their favorite decade and there's eight to choose from, starting with the 1930s. Vintage cars will be on display, as well. Guests may want to bring lawn chairs to better enjoy the park-like picnic atmosphere.

The Frontier Times Museum, located at 510 13th Street, in Bandera, will be open with no admission charge. Museum hours are 10 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Founder J. Marvin Hunter, a journalist and avid history buff, opened the Frontier Times Museum at its existing site in 1933. The unique building, which incorporated a variety of materials, was designed to house Hunter's collection of artifacts.

Hunter operated the museum until his death in 1957. His widow then ran the museum until selling it to the Doane Foundation in 1960. Mr. and Mrs. FB Doane expanded the building, adding the Gallery of Western Art.

Following Mr. Doane's death, the Doane Foundation gifted the museum to the citizens of Bandera County in 1972.

City and county residents are urged to join in the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Bandera's unique jewel - the Frontier Times Museum.

Pictured: This was how the Frontier Times Museum looked when founder J. Marvin Hunter opened it 80 years ago. Check out the Museum Café on the right side of the building. Now, 80 years later, the museum is still going strong and even has plans for a second expansion.

Consider this your personal invitation to attend the Frontier Times Museum's 80 birthday!

The fun at 510 13th Street starts at 10 am with lunch at noon and birthday cake at 2 pm.