Coryell Museum and Historical Center, Gatesville, TX – Spur Capital of Texas

Jul 13

Coryell Museum and Historical Center, Gatesville, TX – Spur Capital of Texas

We’ve spent a lot of time in Gatesville recently. We actually looked at buying a house there to have as an escape from our job at the ranch and as a home base for our travels. After our trip to Belton we went back to Gatesville to meet with a realtor and look at some properties, then decided to visit the local museum for Coryell County. We found out that Gatesville, Texas is the spur capital of Texas.

 

Gatesville, Tx courthouse

Gatesville, Tx courthouse

Lloyd Mitchell was a local football coach, teacher and mentor to several young men attending Gatesville High School. The museum not only houses the 6,000 spurs Lloyd Mitchell collected, but several newspaper articles and first hand accounts from the young men whose lives he touched. Lloyd Mitchell passed away in 1991, but his 6,000 spurs are on display in the Coryell County Museum and Historical Center.

 

Lloyd Spur Collection, Coryell County museum

Only a fraction of the spurs on display

The museum is a lot larger than it looks on the outside. We couldn’t finish going through it and we were there for over an hour. The building the museum is housed in is over 110 years old. It was a furniture store at one time. The roll top desk below was used in one of the offices in the building.

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soda shop room from 1950s, Coryell County museum

full size soda shop room, Coryell County museum

Dentist office replica room

Dentist office replica room, Coryell County museum

We found a building in the back of the museum in a warehouse area. It’s one of the original jails that was used in the area. You know the saying, “I’ll put you under the jail?” Apparently that’s what used to happen. The model shows how the prisoner was kept under the floor of the jail and the area was accessed through a trap door. The jailer could sit above the prisoner to keep watch.

Model of jail house, coryell county museum

Model of jail house

Jail house cabin, coryell county museum

Jail house cabin

As you travel through the museum there are several rooms set up the way they would have been back in the early days of Gatesville and Coryell county, including a doctor’s office, a dentist and an old soda shop / pharmacy. Just through a turn of the century school room there is a door that leads to a small courtyard garden. It’s a nice place to sit and rest for a short time.

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If you’re a history buff, if you like spurs, or if you just want to say you visited the largest spur collection known at this time, this is definitely a place to stop. I took more pictures than I could put in a blog post. The building is very large and there are surprises around each corner. More spurs are on display on the 2nd story.

Travel details:

Gatesville, Texas is on Hwy 84 West of Waco or you can take Hwy 36 from Temple.

The Coryell County Museum is on the corner of Main Street. Parking is around the back. Hours are 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Saturday. Admission is only $2. Seniors and students are $1 and military is free. If you’re on a scooter or wheelchair, the museum is large and accessible with ramps and wide doors. The second floor is accessible by elevator. There isn’t anyplace to sit and rest in the museum.

While you’re in Gatesville, be sure to visit Faunt le Roy park and the Last Drive In Theater. There’s a Walmart and HEB for groceries and several RV parks.

What do you think of the spur collection and the museum? Would you want to go? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

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