Annie Oakley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Patsy Cline, and Sandra Day O’Conner are all from very different venues of stardom, but they all have something in common. They are all inductees of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. These ladies have been honored along with many other women by this museum for the work that they have done and for the character that they have laid out for themselves and so many other females.
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame with a single woman’s dream in 1975. As the dream came to life and the collection of mementos and photos grew, the museum needed a bigger home. On June 7,2002 the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame opened in its present day building. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner was an inductee that year and was asked to give a speech for opening ceremonies. Many celebrities were asked to be a part of the weekend ceremonies and Lorrie Morgan was asked to perform.
This museum is the only one in America that is dedicated to the women who have showed courage and pioneer spirit in their fields and women of the Wild West. There are currently over 158 honorees from all walks of the life. Poets, artists, pioneers,. cowgirls,and businesswomen that have made America the strong place it is today.
The museum houses a research library, a theater, exhibit space, five large galleries of exhibits, and a wide array of rodeo, ranch, and show business memorabilia as well as a catering area, a retail store, and a children’s area that allows them to explore the West hands-on. A Veryl Goodnight bronze statue is a fitting decor for the rotunds of the museum.
Women connected with the west like Dale Evans and Annie Oakley are just as important to our history as country music stars like patsy Cline. Women like artists, Georgia O’Keefee and authors Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather have proven that women can use their talents to touch many generations of people. Children of all ages have read and are still having their children to read the stories of “Little House on The Prairie” by Ms. Wilder.
This 33,000 square foot museum houses over 5,000 artifacts and 6,000 photographs and displays some of the best of the West and the women who are a part of it. Most of the artifacts have been donated by the public and includes items such as: rodeo clothes, costumes, saddles, papers, ropes and about anything else that you can connect to life with these women and their careers. One collection is of papers from the Girls Rodeo Association being formed in the 1940’s. Wonderful historic documents that have shaped the future for many female rodeo stars.
Girls and women will love this museum and it is a chance to show girls that they can be strong and independent women who can blaze a future for others in a field that might not welcome women as much as they should. Women can be ranchers, ropers, rodeo stars, country musicians, barrel racers, etc. Anything they dream, they can do and this museum showcases that very idea.