The National Ranching Heritage Center, a museum of ranching history, is located on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The NRHC features almost fifty authentic ranch buildings dating from the late 18th to the mid-20th century. These structures include a railroad depot, homesteads, barn, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, windmills and other historic structures. One views the exhibits through a self-guided walking tour. It is free to the public.
The center was established in 1969 by the Ranching Heritage Association. Its first director was the historian and archaeologist William Curry Holden From 1977 to 1980, Jim Humphreys, who managed the Pitchfork Ranch in Dickens and King counties from 1965 to 1986, was the board chairman. Until 1999, the NRHC was a part of the Museum of Texas Tech University, to which it is adjacently located.
In 2013, David M. "Matt" Brockman was named NRHC executive director. Formerly, he has been the administrative manager of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, commonly known as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
Also in 2013, Miguel Martinez, a 14-year-old from Lubbock, was impaled through the chest by the horn of a bull statue while playing hide-and-seek at night in front of the National Ranching Heritage Center.
On January 22, 2019, the Heritage Center launched an exhibit which shows the importance of the different breeds of cattle brought into the southwestern United States. The first cattle, explains the exhibit, were Andalusian brought to the continent in the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. Later breeds, such as Hereford, Angus, and the Texas Longhorn shaped the destiny of the American West.
The Jowell House (1872-1873) from Palo Pinto County is a fortress style residence, with an outside ladder to the second floor.
Because children frequently died young in the American West, the heritage center relocated this Jowell Cemetery (1876-1889) from Palo Pinto County.
Box and strip house (1903, 1907), with dual entrances but uninsulated, was relocated to the NRHC from Martin County.
Pioneer mail station (1875) relocated from Knox County
Starmill windmill at NRHC
The Harrell House, named for sisters Fay and Myrtle Harrell of Scurry County, was built in phases between 1885 and 1917.
Quanah Parker exhibit
- "Ranching Heritage Center is unique". The Galveston Daily News. Galveston, Texas. September 9, 1983. p. 6. Retrieved January 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Montie Ritchie
- Texas Tech University press release, June 14, 2013
- Ray Westbrook (January 21, 2019). "A-J remembers: Lubbock's Ranching Heritage Center is rounding up cattle industry". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Ranching Heritage Center.|
- The National Ranching Heritage Center official site
- Information on the National Ranching Association