Carson County Square House Museum

By: Mogie R. McCray

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: April 27, 2016

The Square House Museum in Panhandle, Texas, opened in 1967. The museum complex started with one twenty-four-foot square house, one of the oldest houses in Carson County, and grew by 1986 to eight structures. The buildings and exhibits include the Opal R. Weatherly Purvines Annex with costume and changing art exhibits, the pioneer dugout dwelling, the Santa Fe Railroad Caboose, a bank exhibit and blacksmith shop, Freedom Hall with history exhibits, Moody Hall with wildlife exhibits, and the Finch, Lord, and Nelson farm and ranch exhibits. An Eclipse windmill stands on the grounds. Private and corporate funding has provided for building museum structures and for operation and maintenance of the facility; county support pays for utilities and staff salaries. The museum also holds one major fund-raiser annually, at Museum Day in the fall.

More than 10,000 artifacts are housed at the museum, including documents, photographs, historical items, guns, natural history specimens, and archeological artifacts. Bronze sculptures and a large collection of Indian art add to the fine arts collection. Educational tours and outreach programs for local and area schools are an integral part of the educational program. A Summer Youth Arts program involves students from all county towns. Adult organizations tour the museum and attend museum-sponsored lecture series. The museum has an active publication program, which has produced a history of Carson County, a cookbook, a children's book, and historical videos. The museum newsletter is sent quarterly to supporters. The Square House Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and has been awarded the American Association for State and Local History National Award of Merit.

Carson County Square House Museum Newsletter, Summer 1986.

  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Museums
  • General History Museums
  • House Museums

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Mogie R. McCray, “Carson County Square House Museum,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

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December 1, 1994
April 27, 2016