SHAMROCK, TX - The Pioneer West Museum is one of the Texas Panhandle's top attractions.
Residents often say "It's where the old west comes alive."
Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the museum. While Shamrock may be a pretty small city, it's embedded with rich history and stories that will hopefully be passed on for generations to come.
Obie Covington spends her weekdays helping keep the legacy of the museum alive.
"We are really trying to preserve Wheeler County history and give our kids and young people here a sense of what these pioneers did," she said.
The building used to be a hotel for nearly 50 years before shutting down in 1975 after the oil and gas business evaporated. Instead of tearing down the deteriorating building, city council decided to transform it into a museum.
The first step of the process was something everyone was buzzing about!
"We had bees up in one of the rooms," Covington said. "I mean lots of bees and one of the preachers was a bee keeper and he came and cleared the bees before we got started."
Two years later, the museum was complete. Today, it has expanded to include the Old Magnolia gas station, a barn with vintage farming equipment and the home of Dr. Bernice Ziegler, which may be the most talked about attraction throughout the city.
"That house was built in 1910 and had an operating room in his office," Covington said. "I had a friend who is in her 90's and her and her friend went to get their tonsils out and it was $5 a piece."
Dr. Ziegler came to Shamrock in 1906 to practice medicine. He often used a horse and buggy for transportation and was one of the only doctors to care for the community during both world wars. More than 100 years later, his medical tools, operating table and office desk are still preserved inside his home.
As for the rest of the museums artifacts, Covington says they have all been donated by generous residents.
"People have been really helpful and we're proud with what we've done," she said.
The Pioneer West Museum is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
You can also visit them on the web at shamrocktexas.net/museum or call (806) 256.3941.