Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site

Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site is one of 22 historic attractions operated by the THC. For more information, visit www.visitsamrayburnhouse.com.
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Sam Rayburn's 1916 home, now the Sam Rayburn House Museum, preserves his real stories with original furnishings, candid photographs and personal belongings, remaining as they were when he lived here.

In recognition of #MuseumWeek2019 and #PhotoMW, we'll step outside for today's post.
05/18/2019

In recognition of #MuseumWeek2019 and #PhotoMW, we'll step outside for today's post.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of De...
05/18/2019

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The 2019 program starts on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18, 2019 and runs through Labor Day.

What could that be?
05/17/2019

What could that be?

There are plenty of items to #ExploreMW inside the Eisenhower Birthplace's kitchen for #MuseumWeek. Because we're one of the very few historic museums in Texas that interprets a working class family, many of our artifacts reflect frugality and simplicity. Here's an example - do you know how Dwight's mother used the circled item? Answer will be in the comments soon!

Sam Rayburn Museum
05/17/2019

Sam Rayburn Museum

Collection Spotlight - May
Set of first coinage issued by Central Bank of Nigeria

Following World War II, Nigeria moved toward independence from Great Britain. As part of the effort, the Central Bank of Nigeria was established in 1959. Around the same time, the Nigerian House of Representatives elected its first native Speaker, Jaja Wachuku. Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960. By July 1, 1961, the Central Bank of Nigeria finalized issuing all denominations of Nigerian currency. Jaja Wachuku gifted Sam Rayburn with a set of the new currency as a gesture of friendship between the two speakers.

Today as part of #MuseumWeek2019 and #ExploreMW, we'll share a few hidden treasures that are often overlooked, but worth...
05/17/2019

Today as part of #MuseumWeek2019 and #ExploreMW, we'll share a few hidden treasures that are often overlooked, but worth exploring.

Congratulations Maxine!
05/16/2019

Congratulations Maxine!

The Texas Historical Commission honored our very own Maxine Minson with a well-deserved award for her awe-inspiring tours. Chairman John Nau and Executive Director Mark Wolfe presented the award during the Texas Historical Commission meeting in Austin on Friday, May 10. Congratulations, Ms. Maxine!

Sam Rayburn was an advocate of soil and water conservation and worked with representatives of Oklahoma and Texas for the...
05/16/2019

Sam Rayburn was an advocate of soil and water conservation and worked with representatives of Oklahoma and Texas for the construction of the Denison Dam and its many benefits including Lake Texoma.

*********THROWBACK THURSDAY**************

HISTORY OF LAKE TEXOMA

Lake Texoma has grown in importance over the decades from primarily relief from annual flooding and destruction to an employment engine for the area, and finally a recreation mecca for the nation.

Mr. George Moulton who some consider the father of the Denison Dam was a Denison businessman who dreamed of placing a dam on the Red River at Baer’s Ferry as early as 1925. He began lobbying and talking to Chambers of Commerce in Denison and Durant in the late 1920’s. Sam Rayburn joined the dream team in the early 1930s and was instrumental in the legislative process of making the great lake a reality.

The Flood Control Act of 1938 (Public Law No. 761, 75th Congress, 3rd Session) authorized funding for the Denison dam, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set up the Denison District Office in June of that year. The first Commander was Captain Lucius D. Clay.

Denison Dam and Lake Texoma were authorized for construction by the Flood Control Act approved June 28, 1938, (Public Law 75-791) for flood control and generation of hydroelectric power. The dam, spillway, and outlet works were started in August 1939 and completed in February 1944.

Lake Texoma was constructed during WWII. German prisoners of war were involved in the construction of the dam and were the first POWs to be used in a labor camp. These prisoners were from Rommel’s Afrika Korps and were housed in camps at Tishomingo and Powell, Oklahoma. Later, the Tishomingo POWs were housed in another camp at the spillway. Only non-war related work could be performed by POWs according to the Geneva Convention – such as clearing trees for the proposed lake and light construction.

Construction projects performed by the prisoners included mortared stone lining of the drainage ditches around the damsite, which are still present today, and a bathroom facility at the damsite.

Construction of the dam was completed in January 1944 at a cost of $54 million. The installation of the two generators was completed in September 1949. Initially Lake Texoma was authorized for flood control, hydropower and water supply. Recreation was not officially added as a project purpose by Congress until 1988.

The management of the lands around Lake Texoma was turned over to the National Park Service in 1946 and they continued until 1949 when both agencies decided that the NPS would move out and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would take over the operations and maintenance responsibilities. The National Park Service was always a reluctant partner in this arrangement and finally removed themselves from Texoma in 1949.

Lake Texoma is important as a wildlife habitat. Stocked with species of fish such as crappie, bluegill, and catfish, the lake is best known for its striped bass. Lake Texoma was stocked with striped bass in the late 1960s and has proven to be an excellent habitat for them. It is one of the seven U.S. inland lakes where the striped bass reproduce naturally, instead of being farmed and released into the waters. Critical for conservation, the lake area also includes the Hagerman and Tishomingo National Wildlife refuges. Together comprising approximately thirty thousand acres of marsh, ponds, and upland prairie, these two preserves are home to a number of native species, including quail, deer, bobcats, and wild turkey. Equally significant, the lake is the southern terminus for a variety of migrating waterfowl, including Canadian geese, ducks, and even bald eagles.

An important recreation destination, the lake includes a number of private marinas, campgrounds, resorts, and other concessions that generate millions in tax dollars for the local economy. Also adjacent are fifteen Corps of Engineers campgrounds, Oklahoma's Lake Texoma State Park and state-owned resort lodge, and Texas's Eisenhower State Park. In addition to its importance as a wildlife habitat and recreation destination, the lake area also supports significant agricultural, oil, and manufacturing interests.

Click here to learn more --> https://www.swt.usace.army.mil/Locations/Tulsa-District-Lakes/Oklahoma/Lake-Texoma/

#laketexoma #oklahoma #texas #history #throwbackthursday #fishing #recreation #lakes #hydropower #wildlife #watersafety #lifejackets #denison #usace #tulsadistrict
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters

Explore the history and discover the colors within our site and neighboring historic sites too.  #museumweek2019 #rainbo...
05/16/2019

Explore the history and discover the colors within our site and neighboring historic sites too. #museumweek2019 #rainbowmw

For #Museumweek, we'd like to encourage you to visit all of the state historic sites in North Texas: The Starr Family Home in Marshall, the Sam Rayburn House in Bonham, the Sam Bell Maxey House in Paris, and the Eisenhower Birthplace in Denison! #RainbowMW #StarrFamilyHome #Eisenhowerbirthplace #SamRayburnHouse #SamBellMaxey

For today's feature of #museumweek2019 #playmw, we'll take a look inside a replica of one of many desks used by Speaker ...
05/15/2019

For today's feature of #museumweek2019 #playmw, we'll take a look inside a replica of one of many desks used by Speaker Rayburn. At the desk, visitors can examine copies of letters written to Sam Rayburn and listen to his over the telephone.

Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site
05/15/2019

Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site

Today is Peace Officer's Memorial Day. We would like to express our undying gratitude for those men and women who risk life and limb every day to keep our streets safe, and honor the sacrifices of those who gave their lives to uphold this noble cause.
#PeaceOfficersMemorialDay #MaxeyHouse #SBMH

Pictured:The Texas Peace Officers' Memorial in Austin.

For #museumweek2019 and #womeninculture, we will highlight Ruth Baird Bryan Leavitt Owen Rohde.  Her political career wa...
05/14/2019

For #museumweek2019 and #womeninculture, we will highlight Ruth Baird Bryan Leavitt Owen Rohde. Her political career was one of many firsts: first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from a southern state (Florida), first woman to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and first American woman with a rank of minister and led the Denmark and Iceland mission from 1933-36. Outside of politics, she was a female pioneer in the film industry with her 1922 feature film Once Upon a Time/Scheherazade as screenwriter, producer, and director. In our collection, we have an autographed photo of her given to Sam Rayburn's sister Lucinda Rayburn.

In recognition of #museumweek2019 and #secretsMW, we'll look behind a few of the doors inside the Rayburn family home.  ...
05/14/2019

In recognition of #museumweek2019 and #secretsMW, we'll look behind a few of the doors inside the Rayburn family home. Three of the pictures were taken downstairs, and one was taken upstairs.

Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site
05/14/2019

Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site

#OnThisDate...May 14, 1868, Sam Rayburn's parents William Marion Rayburn and Martha Clementine Waller married.They made their home in a small cabin on a farm near Lenoir, Tennessee. Sam Rayburn was the eighth of their eleven children. They moved to Flag Springs, Texas in 1887 after hearing of the fertile, black soil in Fannin County.

William died in 1916 and Martha passed away in 1927.

Our Dan the Donkey had a great time exploring the museum yesterday.
05/11/2019

Our Dan the Donkey had a great time exploring the museum yesterday.

Artifact of the Month:  Photograph of Martha Rayburn and her sons sitting on the porch of their home.
05/08/2019

Artifact of the Month: Photograph of Martha Rayburn and her sons sitting on the porch of their home.

Commemorative coins are available at the Eisenhower Birthplace SHS.
05/08/2019

Commemorative coins are available at the Eisenhower Birthplace SHS.

Any coin collectors in your friends circle?
The Eisenhower Birthplace SHS has a few of the United States Mint Official American Presidency $1 Coin Cover Series depicting President Eisenhower and postmarked in the city of his birth, Denison, Texas. Only 15000 of these exclusive Coin Covers were minted and are sold out at the United States Mint.
We also feature The Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set of President Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower.

With this being Teacher Appreciation Week, did you know that Sam Rayburn was a teacher at one-room schoolhouses in Green...
05/07/2019
Dial Schools

With this being Teacher Appreciation Week, did you know that Sam Rayburn was a teacher at one-room schoolhouses in Greenwood (1901) and Dial (1903-1905)? In 1905, he was employed as one of three teachers at the public school in Lannius, Texas.

https://www.fannincountyhistory.org/dial-schools.html

An estimate of over 250 attended events relating to the official dedication of the Texas State Historical Marker at the site of the Dial school on Sunday, September 17th. The Dial school, opened around 108 years ago, fell victim as have practically all rural schools to consolidation in the late 1940...

Sam Rayburn Museum
05/07/2019

Sam Rayburn Museum

#OnThisDate Sam Rayburn receives the Collier's Award
Collier’s magazine established its annual awards in 1945 as a response to a number of countries moving away from representative government. The awards, which recognize one senator and one representative, highlight the fundamental role that Congress plays in American government. The magazine felt that honoring legislators who illustrated “distinguished service to the nation” would reinforce the public’s faith in the country’s democratic institutions. Senator Arthur H. Vandenburg and Representative Sam Rayburn were chosen as the 1949 honorees. The selection committee pointed to Rayburn’s party loyalty and his performance as minority leader in 1948 as the main factors in choosing him. President Harry S. Truman presented the awards at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on May 7, 1949. The award came with a $10,000 gift to be used for whatever public purposes the winner chose. Rayburn used the money to start a fund to build the Rayburn Library.

Dan the Donkey was caught taking a look at the garden and its border of flowering plants.
05/02/2019

Dan the Donkey was caught taking a look at the garden and its border of flowering plants.

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site
05/01/2019

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site

May 1, 1862

On this day in 1862, Ida Stover Eisenhower – the mother of the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower – was born to William Link and Esther Charlotte Link, in Mount Sidney, Virgina.
Ida Stover married David Jacob Eisenhower on September 23, 1885, after meeting him while attending Lane University in Lecompton, Kansas. The married couple had seven sons, among them Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in the European Theater and the President of the United States.

Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site
04/30/2019

Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site

Tomorrow starts National Bike Month! Bicycles were developed during the 19th century and became very popular, especially during the 1890s.
Family letters tell us that Sam Bell Maxey Long and Thomas Lightfoot both had velocipedes, a human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. Unfortunately, the letters don't describe what Sam or Tom's velocipedes looked like. The bicycle is the most common velocipede today.
Take a look at all the different velocipedes pictured in the image from an 1887 German encyclopedia.
If you could have any of these, which one would you want??
#NationalBikeMonth #IWantToRideMyBicycle #MaxeyHouse #SBMH

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site
04/27/2019
Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site

Our site is commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day with a program on the grounds of the Birthplace site as well as with a special exhibit. Come visit us on Saturday, June 1 at 10 am for this free event.

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site
04/27/2019

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site

These before and after photos show the clean-up work that is underway.

Thanks to the wonderful volunteers that have already contributed time to reclaiming this wonderful Native American cultural site.

We have 400 acres with multiple scenic areas and structures that still need attention.

We hope to identify more specific needs and volunteer opportunities soon.

To volunteer materials or time, call 936-858-2359.
Anthony "Tony" Souther
Site Manager

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site
04/21/2019

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site

Every year, we celebrate the founding of the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site by serving to Denison area volunteers a "Big Texas Breakfast." This event is hosted by Denison Main Street, the City of Denison, and the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower came to Denison on April 20, 1946 to dedicate the Eisenhower Birthplace, where he was celebrated with a parade, a hearty breakfast at the birthplace house, and an even heartier barbecue dinner.

The opening of the little house at the corner of Lamar and Day Streets, just a few feet away from railroad tracks and sidings, constituted the first real tourist attraction for Dension - at this point, only 74 years old! Today, Denison is 147 years old and the Eisenhower Birthplace is 73 years old.

Since its opening, the Birthplace has relied on volunteers. We are always looking for more! Call us at 903-465-8908 for information.

To read the April 19, 1946 edition of the Denison Press on the preparations for Eisenhower’s visit in 1946, click here:
https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth328767/?q=Denison%20Eisenhower%201946

Dan the Donkey and Kathy, our educator/interpreter went to experience the fun activities enjoyed by all visitors today. ...
04/20/2019

Dan the Donkey and Kathy, our educator/interpreter went to experience the fun activities enjoyed by all visitors today. Dan the Donkey even met Livingston too.

Great pictures!
04/19/2019

Great pictures!

This year, 2019 is the 30th year Denison has been a part of the Texas Main Street program! We are celebrating throughout the year with Flashback Friday!

Here is post #11, The Big Texas Breakfast on April 20, 1946.

General Eisenhower’s 1946 visit to the house and city where he was born. This was the first time Eisenhower saw the Birthplace house as an adult. His hosts were U.S. Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, and Miss Jennie Jackson, a local resident who headed efforts to turn the house into a museum. Gen. Eisenhower enjoyed a “big Texas breakfast” in the dining room of the Birthplace before taking part in a parade and a community barbecue in his honor.

#DenisonFlashBackFriday #CaptureDenison #DowntownDenison #DenisonTexas #DenisonLive #CityofDenison #DenisonMainStreet #AuthenticDenison #MovingForwardKickingBack #TexasHistoricalCommission

A furry event this Saturday at the Sam Bell Maxey House in Paris, Texas.
04/19/2019

A furry event this Saturday at the Sam Bell Maxey House in Paris, Texas.

Is your dog's Easter Bunny impression on point? Then bring them to the Sam Bell Maxey House's first ever EASTER FOR DOGS event!
Dog treats will be scattered across our yard for your dog to enjoy in a 'Easter Treat' hunt, and our good friends at the Lamar County Humane Society (Paris, TX Shelter Adoptables) will be holding an adoption event during our Easter festivities, with pets looking for fur-ever homes!

Details and Rules for Furry Friends can be found on our Event page!

#EasterForDogs #SBMH #MaxeyHouse

Texas Historical Commission
04/18/2019

Texas Historical Commission

A letter from Mark Wolfe, executive director of the Texas Historical Commission, regarding the tornado that devastated the THC’s Caddo Mounds State Historic Site on Saturday:

Our hearts are broken by the suffering of our friends across Alto, Cherokee County, and elsewhere who were impacted by the terrible storm and tornado over the weekend.

Site staff had only minor injuries. But members of the Caddo Nation and of the Friends of Caddo Mounds were among the many injured and traumatized by this horrific event. It is especially unfair that a day of celebration for the tribe and for other guests from across the region became such a nightmare.

Early Sunday morning, Deputy Executive Director for Historic Sites Joseph Bell, Division Director for Communications Chris Florance, and I traveled to the site to check on agency employees and to offer what assistance we could.

We expected to be horrified by the damage, and we were. What I don’t think we expected was the inspiration, compassion, and hope we saw on display from the many people affected by this tragedy.

It was especially gratifying to see the level of response and recovery provided by Cherokee County and their public safety, utility, and charitable partners who mobilized from across the region, including our good friends at Texas Parks and Wildlife. As terrible as these events were, they would have been far worse without the assistance of these dedicated individuals and organizations.

One person lost their life at the site. Their identity has not been released and we are uncertain whether they were attending the event or sought shelter there from the tornado. Regardless of why they were there, it is a terrible loss, and our hearts go out to this individual’s loved ones.

Although we see in media accounts that 30-50 individuals required medical attention and that some of these were transported by helicopter to area hospitals, we only know the names of a few of the injured. We hope you understand that we are not permitted to share personal medical information. We respect the privacy of each and every person who was injured and wish them a speedy recovery.

Roughly 50 percent of the visitors center building was demolished by the storm. We are working to obtain a structural assessment of what remains. Fortunately, the exhibit items in the visitors center were replicas—we do not display actual tribal artifacts out of respect for the Caddo people and their beliefs.

The Grass House is gone. Some interpretive signage on the site grounds is intact, but some was lost.

The site's guest house suffered minor damage. Conditions of the utility buildings across the road range from demolished to mostly intact. The demolished structures were primarily garage space for tractors. Those vehicles appeared to be okay, just inaccessible. The site managers’ house was slightly damaged.

Our estimate to rebuild the visitors center, to replace vehicles and equipment, and to make other necessary repairs, is $2.5 million. We’re already working on efforts to identify resources to accomplish this goal. We believe that Caddo Mounds State Historic Site will be an important part of the area’s recovery.

But for now, we urge those of you reading this to be generous in your support of the Alto community. There are several ways you can help.

BancorpSouth has set up a fund for disaster recovery. You can call 936-858-4416 to donate, or send donations to: BancorpSouth, Alto Relief Fund, P.O. Box 430, Alto, TX 75925. As we learn of other verified donation opportunities to assist the community we will share them with you.

At any point in our time at the site this weekend, we could lift our eyes to the distance and see the Caddo Mounds themselves, seemingly untouched by the storm’s devastation. It was an important reminder that we do the work we do with the understanding that our lives are brief, but the places, stories, and cultures that we preserve will outlive us all.

With that in mind, we will rebuild and re-open Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. We don’t know how yet, and we will likely need your help to do it—but for now, we will focus on the injured, the traumatized, and those who are grieving.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns. We will continue to update you as we receive more confirmed information.

Address

890 W State Highway 56
Bonham, TX
75418

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(903) 583-5558

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