The Cattle Raisers Museum – dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of the cattle industry – started a major renovation of its galleries and public spaces inside the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (FWMSH).
The museum closed its doors on Oct. 11 and is scheduled to reopen in May 2017 with new interactive galleries and exhibits enhancing the stories of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA).
The museum officially opened in 1981 to build a greater public awareness of and appreciation for ranching heritage. The museum’s collections include book and manuscript holdings, historic photographs, oral history interviews, and artifact and educational collections that focus on all aspects of the history of the TSCRA and cattle industry.
The renovations will be the first major update for the Cattle Raisers Museum since it opened inside the FWMSH in 2009. An interactive chronological timeline mixed with artifacts and exhibits will allow visitors to understand important historical markers beginning in the late 1600s through the present, and will include information on the history of cattle raising in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Many artifacts and photos from the museum’s collection will be on display for the first time, including Ken Spain’s saddle collection and Charles Goodnight’s JA Ranch Herd’s “Old Blue” lead steer bell. Exhibits featuring video footage of Texas ranches and livestock and a taxidermy longhorn herd will highlight central themes of land stewardship, the significance of water and the value of beef and cattle byproducts.
The addition of interactive games and hands-on activities will be enjoyed by the 1 million children who visit the museum each year will.
Another new attraction will be a virtual clothing booth and animated portraits of various cattle breeds.
“The importance of cattle and ranchers has always been well represented throughout the Cattle Raisers Museum,” said Executive Director Patricia Riley. “These highly anticipated renovations will reinforce the museum’s educational message of how ranchers are interwoven with their livestock, land, water and other wildlife.”
Firms involved in the renovation include Bennet Benner Partners, Projectiles, The Projects Group and BBI Engineering Inc.