The Red River Valley Museum was founded in 1963 with a single exhibit that was housed at the Wilbarger Auditorium. In 1975 a vacant hospital building became the first home of the Museum. When William Bond donated his collection of 130 record-holding wild game trophy mounts from around the world in 1985, a 15,000 square foot modern, regional Museum was built adjacent to the Vernon College campus.
Step back in time to the age of the dinosaur when you enter The Berry Room which houses select portions of the J. Henry and Ethel Ray Artifacts Collection. This vast collection of fossils and native artifacts was uncovered in over twenty-five years of exploring Wilbarger County and the Red River Valley area. As the visitor progressesthrough this room they can see mammoth and mastodon bones, fossilized plant imprints imbedded in rock, and an ancient reptile fossil known as a Captorhinus. Moving further into the room there are three Clovis points (found in Wilbarger County) which are generally considered to be relics of the first culture to arrive in the Americas after crossing the Bering Land Bridge from Asia. This is a sample of the artifacts that cover time from dinosaurs, the Paleo-indians, through the time of tribes such as the Comanche and Apache.
The Red River Valley Museum is excited to announce introduction of Rick the Drover in July 2013. Set against a ten foot mural of Doan’s Crossing on the Great Western Trail, Rick has exciting stories and information about life on the trail at the push of a button. Visitors will learn about the life of the American cowboy in an entertaining and educational manner through this exciting new exhibit.
The William A. Bond Collection of Big Game Trophies contains one hundred and thirty-two wild game animals. All but two of these animals were collected by Bill Bond from 1946 to 1987. This is a premier collection and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Recognized as the largest ranch in the United States under one fence, the 530,000 acres Waggoner Ranch was founded in the late 1800’s by W.T. Waggoner. The history of the ranching industry in Wilbarger County, the Waggoner Ranch and life on the ranch depicted in the Waggoner Room is of great interest to all visitors. Additionally, the Electra Waggoner Biggs Exhibit delights the artistic senses with a true-to-life studio that is a replica of Electra Biggs art studio. This includes models of famous sculptures from Harry Truman to Will Rogers (the man who never met a stranger) and his horse Soap Suds.
The Red River Valley Museum Board of Directors, staff and docents would be delighted for you to plan a tour.