Fannin County Museum of History
One Main Street, Bonham, Texas
It Can't Be Done, But We Did It
Bonham Daily Favorite, December 6, 1992
She stood just inside the door of the retail business on the Bonham square waiting for her husband to make a purchase. The lady at the cash register smiled and asked if she needed help. "No," replied the lady, betraying just the hint of a Carolina accent, "I'm waiting for my husband. But perhaps you can tell us how to get to the museum?" the cashier looked puzzled for a moment and then said, "Honey we don't have museums in Bonham."
This little incident was recounted to me a few minutes later as the man and woman stopped through the doors to the Fannin County Museum of History. The woman said that she was certain that there was at least one museum because she had seen our sign on the east side of town. She and her husband retraced their steps to the Hickory Barbeque where they had had lunch and fortunately Ruth Blevins told her that there were four museums in Bonham, gave directions to each and provided the couple with a brochure on the town. This is a public "Thank you, Ruth."
This occurrence points up how detrimental the actions of just one person can be to visitors' of a town. Bonham is certainly not so large that every person who is likely to come in contact with the public should be unable to provide information about points of interest in the area.
For the last six months this column has tried to introduce some well known facts and some little known stories concerning the history of our community. Many of you probably don't realize that much of this information comes from materials preserved in the archives of the Fannin County Museum.
Six years ago when we started the drive to restore the old depot and develop a museum for the history of Fannin County there were a number of persons who said it couldn't be done or it shouldn't be done. Well, we did it and whether or not it shouldn't have been done is probably still debatable. Hardly a day goes by when some visitor from out of town comments on how interesting the museum displays are and how much they enjoyed their visit. We must be going something right.
Tourism is the NUMBER ONE industry in the state of Texas. A recent survey done by Texas Department of Tourism asked visitors what they most would like to visit. The overwhelming answers were not, surprising, Sea World, Six Flags Over Texas or the like, what most people wanted to see where historical museums and sites! Let's invite them to Bonham, we have 37 such places to see.
The Fannin County Museum of History needs your support. We are at a little disadvantage because of our location. The accidental tourist driving through Bonham will see the Rayburn House, Fort Inglish and the Rayburn Library. But we are three blocks off the square and if the visitors are not directed to us we lose another opportunity to display our proud heritage.
The museum does not exist for visitors alone. The museum and its collections are primarily here for the education, entertainment, and enjoyment of the people of Fannin County.
Believe it or not these exhibits don't just happen. They have to be designed, planned, built, and erected. This takes people, time and money, all of which is often in short supply at our museum. So we need your help. . . .
We also need volunteers. We need people to help with the exhibits. We need people with skills, talents, and imagination. We need people who love to talk and would like to tell people the history of our area. We have lots of tour groups who visit each year. Most importantly we need volunteers to help with our educational programs. . . .