Captivated by Hardeman County Jail Museum in Quanah, Texas.

Have you ever heard about Hardeman County Jail Museum in Quanah, Texas? Probably you haven’t.

Hardeman County Jail Museum

Hardeman County Jail Museum was originally a county jail. It was built of native stone in 1890 when the city of Quanah became the county seat. The lower floor housed the sheriff’s office and living quarters, while the upper floor held prisoners’ cells. There were woman and man cells in this small jail.

The woman's cell at Hardeman County Jail Museum.
The woman’s cell.
The man's cell at Hardeman County Jail Museum.
The man’s cell.

 

 

 

 

 

In 1973 the jail facilities were relocated and in 1976 the structure was renovated by community effort for use as a museum. The lower floor features the history of Quanah and Hardeman County while the upper floor cells have been left intact.

I found this museum when I made a plan for our Spring Break 2017 camping and hiking trip around the Panhandle. The museum popped out when I was searching for places of interests around the area. It’s free and I thought we could make a pit stop before we went to Copper Breaks State Park in the south of Quanah.

Hardeman County Jail Museum landmark.

I’m glad we did it. It was so interesting to see the museum collections and listening to the stories that were rich with a history of the jail and the town. I tried to imagine how life was for the sheriff’s family with the inmates ‘living’ above them. There’s a narrow long opening on the wall in one room that used to be the bed for the children, a collection of western life, and several others.

It used to be bed for the sherrif's children.
The opening on the wall used to be a bed for the children.

This small museum is pack with history. Do stop when you pass the town and have extra time. It took us about an hour and a half to browse this place combined with Quanah, Acme and Pacific Depot Museum which was located right behind the jail. If the jail museum is closed, go to the Depot Museum where the volunteers will take you for a private tour of the jail.

 

Address: 105 Green Street, Quanah, TX. Phone: 940-663-5272.

Hours of Operation: 10.00 – 15.00, Monday – Saturday; other times by appointment.

Entrance Fee: Free of charge.

 

Quanah, Acme, and Pacific Depot Museum.

I didn’t expect to see a beautiful historical depot in Quanah. The exterior is stucco, Spanish style with red Ludowici Seville tile roof. Many believe this two-story structure, built on Mercer Street on 1908, is one of the best examples of a historical depot in the state.

The beautiful Depot Museum right behind Hardeman County Jail Museum.

The depot museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits exploring the history of the surrounding area. Items from Hardeman County’s pioneer and railroad days occupy the first floor as well as Lane Frost and Quanah Parker. The exhibits on the second floor are Veteran’s Room, Quanah Cotton Oil Mill, Schools, Masonic Lodge, and the Space Room furnished by NASA and the Smithsonian Institute, and several others.

The railroad collections.The old punching machine.

 

 

 

 

It was really interesting to see how many collections they have for a museum in the small town.  We found extensive information about Quanah Parker and lots of his stuff in this museum.

Quanah Parker memorabilia at Depot Museum.Quanah Parker's hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what surprised us most was the Space Room. Apparently, there was a hometown boy, born in Quanah and graduated from Quanah High School, who was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in the Apollo program; but he didn’t make it to the moon because he died in an automobile accident in 1967.

A newspaper clip of Quanah resident who appointed in Apollo mission back in the 1967.

If we didn’t have to move to the other place that afternoon, we could have been spending more than an hour and a half at these 2 museums. My son and his friend also had fun learning about the history of the region from one exhibit to the other exhibits. They both left with a bag filled with pamphlet, games, snacks, and a book.

Oh, there was a world map on the wall that people from all over the word who visited the museum could pin which country they came from. It’s hard to believe when my son said, “Mommy! You’re not the first Indonesian to visit this museum!” Aaahh…

A world map where visitors could pinned where they came from.

The Q.A. & P. Museum is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. It is told that Quanah Parker claimed the Quanah, Acme & Pacific as his railroad.

 

Address: 102 Mercer Street, Quanah, TX 79252. Ph.: 940-663-5272, 940-839-8066.

Hours of Operation: 10.00 – 15.00, Monday – Saturday; other times by appointment.

Entrance Fee: Free of charge.

 

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