One of the most authentic western cultural experiences you will ever experience is the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (TCHF) in Fort Worth. First off, it’s located in an extraordinary 100-year-old building (originally a horse and mule barn) in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Once inside, you will be surrounded by wall-to-wall artifacts and memorabilia highlighting western life and the important role cowboys played in Texas and our American history.
There are currently over 130 inductees honored with personal displays at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, with five new members added each year. (You, too, can nominate someone!) What’s especially inspiring is this esteemed group is all-inclusive of people who have made an impact on western life in Texas and that means musicians (Willie Nelson & George Strait), actors (Tommy Lee Jones), poets (Red Steagall) and ranchers (Helen Kleberg Groves) are also figured alongside rodeo stars (Don Gay).
There are five permanent collections (home to several original pieces) highlighting the unique aspects of Texas history and culture. The displays include: Adventures of the Cowboy Trail, Amon G. Carter Cadillac, Applewhite-Clark, Chisholm Trail, John Justin Trail of Fame, The Sterquell Wagon Collection and the Zigrang Bit Collection. Every exhibit offers an authentic glimpse into western culture.
The Sterquell Wagon Collection is the world’s largest collection of lifestyle wagons, featuring over 60 wagons, buggies and sleighs. The collection came from U.C. (Sterk) and Betty Sterquell in Amarillo, Texas. (Hence the name.)
The hands-on Exploratorium is a more interactive-style area for children (though adults have fun here too) to learn about western cowboy culture. Children get to experience firsthand how a cowboy would pack his horse or Chuckwagon for a trail drive. They also learn the importance of a “brand” and get to actually “brand” a long-horn flyer!
Featured image courtesy of Cliff Baise.