We all know I can't go anywhere without visiting a museum, I can even find a museum at Disney World. Through my research I came across the Buckhorn Museum and Texas Ranger Museum. These two museums come together in one large building with the Buckhorn Saloon. While I did lots of research, I'm not gonna lie I was surprised at what the Buckhorn Museum really turned out to be in person!
After we paid the entrance fee, we were highly encouraged to grab a drink at the saloon bar to enjoy throughout the exhibits. Being a museum professional I had a bit of a hard time with this one plus it was 9am! We decided to wait until we went through the Texas Ranger Museum portion (as you'll see later!)
As I mentioned I had looked at the website and was aware that there would be lots of taxidermy specimens but we were totally taken aback at the sheer number of them. All of the horn furniture was also unexpected. We learned as we went through that the original proprietors, Albert & Emile Friedrich, of the saloon realized early on that people in the early days of the frontier didn't always have money for booze (the horror). So they came up with a barter system, they would barter horns and antlers for beers and whiskey. This worked out quite well.
Albert and Emile quickly amassed one of the largest and most unique collections of antlers and horns. Some of the specimens in their collection are record holders, you'll see the 10,000 Irish Elk image below and they have the record holding 78 point buck.
What a lovely image of a deer (with a very odd and life like Teddy Roosevelt!) you might be saying ... well if you look a little closer that image is made out of rattle snake rattles. This was Emile's hobby. She would also accept a jar of rattles in exchange for a drink. Through her lifetime she collected more than 52,000 rattles and made numerous pictures from them. They were sprinkled throughout the museum.
This is the Irish Elk.
Smiling badger is saying hello!
Then there was the circus/sideshow part of the museum. This started out with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and the moved into the more recent side shows. We really enjoyed the interactive parts of this exhibit.
Then it was back to the bar an on to the Texas Ranger exhibit.
Kevin and I really enjoyed The Buckhorn Museum & the Texas Ranger Museum. They were both fun and a good way to see some authentic Texas!