Phone: 325.572.3365
Tues-Sat 10-5; Sun 12-5        

History of the History Center

In 1956, a lawyer named Ernie Wilson purchased the original 1879 Taylor County Courthouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas.  He collected artifacts from the area for display in the courthouse and called it the “Ernie Wilson Museum of the Wild West.”  He added the small stone building that is currently used as the doctor’s office, and in 1964, he reconstructed the Knight-Sayles Cabin on site. In 1977, Dr. R. Lee and Ann Rode purchased the museum and slowly brought in the remainder of the buildings and named the facility the “Buffalo Gap Historic Village.”  When the Rodes retired in 1999, community members searched for someone to take over the Village. A group of history professors who had formed a non-profit called the McWhiney History Education Group offered to run the site.

In February 2017, Taylor County took ownership of the Buffalo Gap Historic Village grounds, buildings, and artifacts. A new 501(c)3 non-profit, the Taylor County History Center, formed to operate the museum and continue the site’s mission of history education. This new partnership allows the site to flourish and opens the museum to financial opportunities that will allow us to preserve and protect the stories and heirlooms of all Taylor County communities and residents.

With new ownership and new leadership, you’ll notice lots of changes! Our beloved historic structures will finally receive the funding to properly preserve their stories, our professional museum staff will be offering more educational programs for both students and adults, and you’ll notice new exhibits showcasing the 15,000+ artifacts held in the museum’s collections and archives.

Many of your favorites will continue! Stop by the site on the 2nd Saturday of each month for our free program, the Chautauqua Learning Series, our military families will continue to receive free admission on the 3rd Sunday of each month, and look for our regular fundraisers and events life: Frontier Fourth, Pillage-the-Village, Ghost Tours, and Comanche Moon Social.

This Day in Texas History

  • 1918 On this day in 1918, J. Marvin Leonard, "Mr. Marvin," opened his first store in Fort Worth. Leonard was born in 1895 near Linden, Texas. During World War I he moved to Dallas, where he worked in a store that specialized in salvaged merchandise. For more information go to https://texasdaybyday.com/#feedCarousel

Contact Us

Taylor County History Center
133 N. William Street
Buffalo Gap, Texas 79508

Museum: 325-572-3365
Offices: 325-572-3974