Mogie R. McCray
Carson County Square House Museum Entrance
Entrance to the Carson County Square House Museum in Panhandle, Texas. Courtesy of the Amarillo Globe-News. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107

CARSON COUNTY SQUARE HOUSE MUSEUM. 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.

Windmill at the Museum
The Eclipse windmill on the grounds of the museum. Courtesy of Ben Prepelka photography. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107

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.

Paddy Wagon on the Museum Grounds
A paddy wagon can be explored at the museum. Courtesy of Texas Plains Trail Region. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107

Carson County Square House Museum Newsletter, Summer 1986.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Mogie R. McCray, "CARSON COUNTY SQUARE HOUSE MUSEUM," accessed June 17, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on May 3, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox