The Lake Texoma area has many museums that showcase the local area. These museums do not just provide information on Texomaland, they provide history and allow patrons to see exhibits that can only be found here.
The Sherman Museum recently put its annual Dino Days exhibit on display.
“This year is probably going to be the most different Dino Days primarily because, although its Dino Days, we are not really focusing on dinosaurs,” Sherman Museum Executive Director Dan Steelman said. “We are going to have some represented here because we have some that are here permanently. We are really focusing on the Ice Age animals, which are mammals that lived after the dinosaurs became extinct. These are the types of animals made famous by the Ice Age movies that kids love.”
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Thursdays the museum will extend its hours until 8 p.m. Children ages four years and under get in free, and admission is $5 for those five and over.
The Red River Railroad Museum in Denison is housed in the former “Katy” Depot building that was built in 1911. The building was the third depot for the city of Denison and was active until 1965.
Museum Curator Roy Jackson said Denison held many firsts for the railroad industry in Texas, including the first interurban rail service between cities in Texas. Denison held one of the first train stations to use refrigerated rail cars, allowing meat and other perishable goods to be transported to markets on the east coast. This allowed for a burgeoning beef market to develop around the city, Jackson said.
Along with a trumpet that was once owned by Miles Davis, the Sherman Jazz Museum also owns one of Duke Ellington’s traveling pianos and the musical collections of jazz trumpeters Maynard Ferguson and Roy “Little Jazz” Eldridge.
The museum is located at 201 W. Lamar Street in Sherman.
“People may not associate Sherman with having something this good, but it is here,” Collins said. “If this was in New York or Dallas, people would be saying, ‘This is great! You have to see this!’ But, because this is in Sherman, people assume we are not very good.”
Collins said that for those that are jazz fans or fans of trumpets, there is not a better museum.
“If I had to start over, I could not make this museum again,” Collins said. “I would not be able to find this stuff. So I am really lucky to have it. Sherman is the only place to see some of these things. Smithsonian would love to have some of this stuff. They have a Dizzy Gillespie trumpet, but we have one too. They do not have a Miles Davis trumpet and we do. They have a Duke Ellington portable piano, but we have one too.”
The building that houses the gallery that Collins refers to as a “world-class museum” was bought in 1985. It was a Masonic Temple that Collins’s father remodeled.
The Van Alstyne Historical Museum was recently renovated.
“It’s brighter, it’s cleaner, people can walk in and there’s not a dreariness about it,” museum volunteer Jo Bell said in a story by the Herald Democrat. “When it was dark, people didn’t walk out as happy as they do now. The adults see things that could have belonged to their grandmothers. The kids see things that they think are funny because they’re not modern. It’s enlightening to both children and adults.”
Van Alstyne Historical Museum staff said that individuals need only call the museum at 903-482-6176 to set up a time to come in and see everything new the museum has to offer.