Well, it is done and open again! The Blanco Pioneer Museum opened the doors with an exhibit that we call “Western Heritage.” Western Heritage goes from the era of the cowboys and trail drives to the time of settlement of our own Blanco County. During your tour, you might ask yourself what this has got to do with Blanco. Well folks, we are focusing on the county of Blanco and the settlers who contributed to its growth and success. The major towns are showcased by pictures and short histories of each town. We have memorabilia from events which directly or indirectly were connected to some people who lived in or still live in the county. Blanco County has a wealth of history and well-known people who have contributed to our history or grew up in this county and went on to fame. Be proud to be from Blanco County is our motto.
On Saturday, the opening ceremony was started by Rebecca Howerton, who welcomed the crowd with a cowboy joke. She introduced Judge Bill Guthrie, who came armed not only with a sidearm but with his Henry rifle. Judge Guthrie gave the history of Blanco County from the time of James Hughes Callahan to the time Blanco County was formed by the 7th Texas Legislature. Sherry Jenkins from the Blanco County Historical Commission told of the development in the North end of Blanco County and Rebecca Howerton, also from the Blanco County Historical Commission, told of the development in the South end of Blanco County. Pat Vallone was the next speaker; she gave the history of a Blanco citizen who will soon become an elite member of the Western Heritage Museum. She announced that Mr. Lawrence Coffee will be inducted into the Western Heritage Museum in November. As many of you realize, Mr. Coffee has rodeoed most of his life and won many awards during his time on the rodeo circuit. We have some of his memorabilia in the museum. He was in the movie “All the Pretty Horses,” in which he played the part of a vaquero. Lawrence thanked everyone for recognizing him and he wished that more of the young people would come to see the museum. More thank yous came from Nell Krueger and Linda Howard for all of the people who worked to reopen the museum and to the people who supported the museum during the opening. Special thanks went to Two Fat Guys BBQ, American Legion, Deb Hunnicutt Catering, Kent Fortune and Lawrence Coffee.
Entertainment continued with Lawrence Coffee and his steer roping machine, The Dry River Gang, Knife and Bullwhips by Mike Bainton Group featuring Angel Fire and Little Bit.
Sunday morning the Purple Sage Singers, Dorothy Trimble and Skip Brasher, did very old cowboy songs and the gathered audience sang along. This group had several requests after their main show. Kenny Bridgeport showed us how to dance Native American Style while his sister assisted in “The Shawl Dance.” At 2 pm, Angel Fire (Brooke Landry) and Little Bit (Gillian Sitler) were introduced by Mark Mabrito after his comedic routine on the explanation of the Confederate Union uniform being part of the cowboy’s original dress. The Mike Bainton group spent the afternoon showing visitors how to throw knives while Patty and Lawrence Coffee sang old gospel songs to finish Sunday afternoon. Thank yous go to Aaron Sitler and Mike Landry, who spent the afternoon showing our visitors how to throw knives.
Our coloring contest was won by Daniel Chamblee III and Benjamin Olmedo. Benjamin, please come by to claim your prize, as we did not have a phone number for you. Our door prizes were drawn and our winners are: Retta Martin, Pam R., Jeff Kerr, Mary Nabers, Mary Parks, Kathrin Baker, Gale Barches, George Villareal, Harriet Campbell and Janie Jones.
Perhaps you may be driving by the museum and notice the new marker. This marker was moved recently from a roadside park near Round Mountain by TxDot. An unveiling ceremony will be conducted later by the Blanco County Historical Commission and more information will be available after the ceremony, but James Wilson Baines has returned to his home in Blanco.