|Ever wish they still made movies like the old “B” Westerns with their singing cowboys, beautiful women and trained horses? Although those films are now only a part of our history, there’s a very special museum that is dedicated to the history and legacy of those singing cowboys. It’s known as the Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum and it’s located in the tiny southern Oklahoma town of Gene Autry. The town took its name from its famous resident, who owned a ranch nearby.
“As far as we know, ours is the first and maybe the only museum in the country that is dedicated to the singing cowboys,” explains Director and Curator Elvin Sweeten. “Folks tell us how our exhibits bring back strong memories from their childhoods, and how they help them to share those memories with their children and grandchildren.”
Colorful, informative displays center on such stars as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Eddie Dean, Ken Maynard and others, and feature movie posters, LP records, comic books, toys and lots of unique collectibles. The Museum and its unusual focus attract the attention of visitors from across the country.
The Museum is housed in the building that once was the town’s schoolhouse. When the school closed, Sweeten convinced the town to allow him to open a museum dedicated to the singing cowboys. Exhibits and collections are now displayed where sports trophies used to be. The school’s auditorium was given new life as a 500-seat performance hall where the Museum presented its annual Gene Autry Oklahoma Film & Music Festival, for 18 years. The last event was held in September 2009. If any group wishes to reserve the Museum with its’ large auditorium, state of the art sound system and large movie screen for special events, call or email the Museum.
LARGEST PRIVATE B-WESTERN COLLECTION ON DISPLAY IN THE UNITED STATES.
Museum hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Central Time).