Window on the Plains Museum

Coasting along a panhandle highway north from Amarillo will lead you to the small town of Dumas, TX. With a current population of approximately 13,400 in 2022, the town is slowly seeing a decline in residents as demonstrated by the census reading of 14,042 in 2020. Nevertheless, the town has its share of Texas Panhandle history and is home to a large community of farmers. Dumas was first being settled in 1891 when Louis Dumas was establishing post offices in order to found a town under sporting his own namesake. A petition for the construction of a link between Amarillo and Dumas in the Santa Fe Railroad was started in 1929 and worked to establish this link with other towns such as Boise City. All of these historical facts and stories plus more can be found at the Window on the Plains Museum located after entering or before exiting the south side of Dumas.

History is an interesting subject no matter how small of importance it may seem. Small towns might not appear as if they have much to them, but considering the time that has gone by, it is quite fascinating to learn about it. One of the places you can learn a ton of history about the small town of Dumas is at the Window on the Plains Museum located at 1820 S Dumas Ave, Dumas, TX 79029. This museum features exhibits ranging from outlining the history of agriculture and industry in the town to ones that showcase the daily life of various decades. The museum is partially operated by a group of volunteers that are called the “Windmillers” who take on the responsibility of cleaning displays, greeting guests, providing tours, running the gift shop, and collecting inventory of and cataloging artifacts.

The museum offers membership to those interested in being a regular visitor or a donating member. Membership is not required to visit the museum and admission is free to all. There is an additional attraction located in the same building next to the museum that is also free to see called the Art Center. This facility features temporary exhibitions of artwork, some highlighting local artists in the area. It also puts on workshops encompassing a variety of art forms as well as kids summer classes that are currently, as of 2022, taught by the local Dumas High School art teacher. The Art Center was opened in 2004 next to the new Window on the Plains Museum location.

The museum began in 1976 with the collection of artifacts that represented life in the region during its time of birth and development. It showcases the rich history that changed the town of Dumas from an extra small town with few residents, to a booming and growing economy. It was moved to the place it rests today in 2001, but was located originally in a ballroom of a historic landmark hotel and named Moore County Historical Museum. Those who tour the facility and are interested in learning more about the farming and ranching, industry, business, family, and wildlife of Moore County can check out the research and archives center located on the premises.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and admission is free. You can purchase the book “Bits of History” at the museum’s gift shop that outlines the history of Moore County. Make sure to check out the facility during winter time for their Christmas Open House where your little ones can visit Santa and inform him of their Christmas wishes.

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