Museum of North Texas History
Capturing and preserving everything related to history of North Texas, the Museum of North Texas History in downtown Wichita Falls stands as the optimal resource and historical center aimed at children and adults. However, instead of boring and traditional exhibits, this museum has remained dedicated to its mission of inspiring an interest in the past and providing a fun and entertaining experience for both children and adults. Including military memorabilia that ranges from the Civil War to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Texas textiles exhibits, Native American artifacts, and even a full-sized T-38 jet located at the satellite museum near the Wichita Falls regional airport, the Museum of North Texas History has a little something for everyone.
Backstory and Context
History and Museum Structure
Unlike other historical museums in the area, the Museum of North Texas History was conceived more recently in 2000, and after membership and fund drives, as well as a major building donation from the late Rusty Lindemann, the 18,500-square-foot museum officially opened to the public in 2001.
Since then, the museum has been focused on gathering the widest selection of artifacts pertaining to North Texas as it can find. In the downtown area, the Lindemann Building houses the main exhibit hall, known as the Ralph O. Harvey Jr. Exhibit Hall after the famed civic leader and philanthropist. The other major exhibit hall in building is the Heritage Hall, and throughout the building, visitors can discover different exhibits and museum-sponsored programs in 15 rooms.1
Throughout the 18,500-square-foot Lindemann Building, visitors can explore both the permanent collection and a myriad of traveling exhibits. The permanent collection, however, focuses on the various elements that built North Texas culturally and physically.
Some of the more popular elements of this collection include the Native American artifacts, an exhibit dedicated to the oil and gas industry, Heritage Hall’s massive collection of western hats, and the exhibit focusing on North Texas medical history. The Museum of North Texas History also tries to bring history to life with its “Bit of History” lecture series, held in the 50-seat theater.2
Events and Programs at the Museum
Visitors to the Museum of North Texas History should always pay attention to the upcoming exhibits and events featured at the museum. For example, some events might focus on auto-racing in North Texas, vintage instruments, housekeeping, and prohibition, among many others.
However, military and aviation enthusiasts must check out the Jenny to Jet Exhibit, which commemorates the U.S. Army Air Corps training camp (Call Field) that was used during World War I. The main attraction at this exhibit is undoubtedly the Jenny biplane, and on the “Jet” side of the exhibit, visitors can come up-and-close with a real T-38 jet. Other features of the Jenny to Jet Exhibit include a Model-T Troop Carrier, a Model-T Staff Car, WWI uniforms, and other pieces of war memorabilia.3