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. The rich and colorful history of Wilbarger County can be traced over 10,000 years ago as evidenced by the artifacts found in this collection.
As you progresses through this room you 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.
Continuing through the Berry Room will lead you through the course of Wilbarger County’s history. Learn about Quanah Parker, the Doan’s family and the annual Doan’s Picnic, the Great Western Cattle Drive, and so much more! The county’s more modern history is recounted in this exhibit as well. The primary source of income for Wilbarger today is agriculture and oil related products, Wright Brand Foods which is now a Tyson Plant, Solvay – a plant which produces items from guar, Vernon Regional Junior College, and a State Hospital.
The Berry Gallery walks the visitor through time interactively in a fun, educational manner. This is sure to be a delight to kids of all ages
The Berry Gallery recently underwent a major redesign that transformed this room into a true picture of Wilbarger County from the Day of the Dinosaur to the early 1900’s. As with many West Texas communities, agriculture, ranching and the resulting horse industry brought many of Vernon’s founding fathers here. This history shaped not only the community but the people who lived here.
Part of this redesign was the introduction of Rick the Drover. 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. You can learn about the life of the American cowboy in an entertaining and educational manner through this exciting new exhibit.