Texarkana Region Offers Wealth of Cultural Options
PHOTO CREDIT: Todd Bennett
The Ark-Tex region offers a bounty of cultural assets from art galleries to museums to historic sites. Here’s just a small sample:
Museum of Regional History
Housed in a building erected in 1879, the Museum of Regional History details the story of the community named for Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Texarkana’s roots date to the railroad era, where two lines connected at the Arkansas and Texas state line and lots were sold for a new settlement.
The museum includes gallery exhibits that detail the Ark-Tex region’s history, including agriculture, early industry, civil rights and World War II. On display is pottery made by members of the Caddo nation and exhibits about the early Spanish and French explorers. Interactive music displays tell the stories of native son and ragtime music pioneer Scott Joplin and blues great Leadbelly, among others.
The Texarkana Museums System operates the history museum as well as the Ace of Clubs House and Discovery Place Children’s Museum, all within walking distance of each other. Combined, the three facilities draw more than 55,000 visitors annually. Go to www.texarkanamuseums.org for more information.
Hayden Museum of Art
Founded in 1992 by Dr. and Mrs. William Hayden, the museum in Paris makes education an emphasis, with close ties to local and regional educational institutions at all levels.
The 6,300-square-foot museum, which is open by appointment only, includes four galleries and features an array of exhibits including a permanent collection of graphic art, archival photography, Native American art, art from the Southwest and works by American master painters.
Also included in the museum complex is the Texas House, a restored 100-year-old, small Victorian house from Paris decorated with Texas antiques and Texas memorabilia, and the main house, with a Louisiana furniture collection and other decorative art.
A branch of the museum in Paris exhibits and sells works by Lamar County artists. Call (903) 785-1925 for more information.
Leo St. Clair Music Box Museum
Hopkins County offers the unique Leo St. Clair Music Box Museum in Sulphur Springs.
The museum features a collection of more than 150 rare music boxes that come in a variety of sizes and styles.
The collection was started in 1919 when the Belgian royal family gave Leo St. Clair a music box.
Call (903) 885-4926 for more information.
Also in Hopkins County is the Hopkins County Museum and Heritage Park, an 11-acre collection of historic buildings preserved and restored from the region’s past.