During our short stop in Waco, TX, we enjoyed visiting the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. (That is the “real” Texas Rangers and not the baseball team!) As we arrived we were just in time to see the free video history of the Texas Rangers. It was fascinating to see how they developed and became a major part of civilizing Texas. In 1823 Stephen F. Austin was given authority by the ruling Mexican government to assemble a company of men to act as Rangers for the common defense against the marauding Indians. These first two companies are considered the original Texas Rangers. After watching the documentary we looked at all the displays that honor the Hall of Fame members, including some of their personal memorabilia. Throughout the facility there are various halls that allow you see how Ranger’s weapons advanced with the times and how investigative team tools have changed. Not only are many of the weapons used by Rangers on display but there are also some of those used by criminals they apprehended. There are many personal items on loan from family members as well as one room dedicated to the pop culture of the Texas Rangers. This room has posters from popular movies, some memorabilia of the original “Lone Ranger” and from the TV series “Walker Texas Ranger.” I was impressed with the number of personal saddles, weapons, and clothing on display. I also enjoyed the artwork: paintings and cowboy sculptures that are on display there. We thought the museum was interesting and well worth our time. If you have any interest in law enforcement, Texas history, or firearms you will enjoy the museum.
Our visit to Waco Mammoth Site was interesting and educational. Our guide, a gentleman named Jeremy, met us at the welcome center and led us on the tour. At the amphitheater he gave us a history of the area and as we continued he told us how the first bones were found by a couple of boys looking for arrowheads. He talked about the various animals whose bones were found in this area along with the mammoths. These included the saber tooth cat, giant sloth, and camel. From there it was a short walk to the climate controlled building where we able to view the artifacts still in the ground as they were found. Jeremy was an excellent and patient guide as he described and explained what we were seeing, making the scene come to life for us. After the guided tour we could stay in the building and continue to view or walk on back to the welcome center and parking area. If you are in the Waco area I recommend this as a family outing.
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