Museum Beehive of Activity

Special to The Flash
July 17, 2019

Construction bangs, whizzes and thuds are thundering down the Bosque River Trail from the Stephenville Museum grounds. The long-anticipated restoration of the John Tarleton Ranch House is near completion. The structure, the Patillo home place of Tarleton State University founder John Tarleton, relocated to the museum campus in 1991. Even as that project wraps up, major work begins on the historic Chapel on the Bosque.

Both jobs were awarded to local contractor Chris Evans. To many, it may seem the museum board dragged their feet getting these projects underway. The truth is few contractors or carpenters want to work on out of plum, out of square, patched together vintage structures. As it turned out, Evans has a passion for “making it right” and creating or sourcing era-appropriate materials and techniques to refashion structures to their vintage look.

The exterior work at the Tarleton Ranch Headquarters is seamless and without photos of the progress guests to the campus might not realize the scope of the work. The house exhibit is scheduled to reopen in September. This project was supported by Sundown on the Square through sponsors and their annual October extravaganza on the square.

Sundown on the Square also supports the restoration of the Chapel on the Bosque. That project started this week with an extensive foundation leveling. Over the next months, the exterior will be repaired and painted. Inside the task list is long and will give a full refresh to the look of the interior, staying true to the structure’s origins.

This year’s Sundown on the Square will take place on October 12 from 5 – 9 p.m. on historic Stephenville downtown square. This family-friendly event will feature games and activities for all ages, food from local vendors and restaurants, wine tasting, shopping and an art exhibit by local artist, Rick Kime. Entertainment includes Giovannie and the Hired Guns, Davin James and Texas music legend, Gary P. Nunn. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Stephenville Historical House Museum.

Local support of Sundown on the Square and the Stephenville Historical House Museum fall under IRS code 503 (c)(1). Funding for museum events and restoration are also supported by the Stephenville City hotel/motel tax funds.

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