Panhandle Plains Historial Museum has the state's largest gun collection
Fri, 14 Sep 2012 15:36:55 GMT —
Firearms have been a part of the culture throughout this area that helped settle the west, and you might not know, that the largest collection owned in the state is at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum.
Come along for the ride as we take you for a behind the scenes look at some of these priceless artifacts.
Behind these walls is the state's largest collection of firearms. At any one time, you might see about 600 guns and blades on display, but that's not even half of what is being catalogued and preserved, according to Paul McFadden, Adj. Curator of Firearms.
"Every morning, I'm very flabbergasted and amazed at what I see."
He sees these weapons as pieces of art. He's always been intrigueded with working mechanisms, and is fascinated with each and every gun.
"When you take a gun apart, you get in the guy's mind and its extremely rewarding."
Preserving these items as pieces of art is his passion as he tries to figure out the stories behind these rare and collectible firearms.
"I wish I had the story, if they could only talk they'd make Hollywood look tame..."
Getting them displayed for patrons is easy: just getting them has been the labor of love for the past few years.
"I took it over in 2005 and It was somewhat neglected..."
Michael Grauer is the museum's curator of art but he's also a student of history and knew the collection could be even more.
"I wanted to make sure firearms had equal parts at the table at the museum."
These two work together like a precision firearm, building and preserving the collection, which is the main goal of any museum.
"It's out job to maintain it, First and foremost, preservation."
And it's a silent pact made with every donated and located piece.
"It's a sacred trust with the understanding we'll take care of it."
Every gun tells a silent story and Paul and Michael are well aware of their impact to visitors.
"They're my guns and guns for every person in the museum, said" McFadden.
"They're pricelss, everyone of the guns is priceless," added Grauer.
Offers have been made, but these guns will never be sold and they're hoping the collection will someday include some big artillery.
"Mountain Howitzer like the one used in the original battle of Adobe Walls."
"Gattling gun for the collection."
Private tours are available by appointment...and there's always the guns on display.
"Come see us and be amazed."