The Bosque Museum
The Bosque Museum is dedicated to protect and preserve Bosque County’s historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education, enjoyment and economic benefit of present and future Bosque Citizens.
The museum’s current collection grew out of the early collection of Jacob Olson, an early immigrant to Bosque County. Mr. Olson collected the important artifacts of that time and saved them for his own enjoyment. In 1924 he gave his collection to Clifton Lutheran College with the proviso they be housed in a fireproof building and should never leave Bosque County. When the college merged with Texas Lutheran College in 1953, a new home had to be found for the collection.
A local non-profit corporation was formed in 1954, money was collected, donated, and a new building was opened in 1957. The land was donated by the former Clifton College Corporation. Since that time, three additions have been made to the building increasing the total display space to 8,000 square feet. An important recognition of the museum occurred on October 22, 1982 when King Olaf V of Norway visited the museum to view the Cleeng Pearson artifacts.
The Horn Shelter was discovered in 1970. The Paleoindian Horn Shelter site is replicated in a special exhibit. Found in Bosque County in 1970, the Horn Shelter is a deeply stratified rock shelter that dates from the recent historic to the Paleoindian time periods. A diorama in the exhibit depicts the most notable feature of the Horn Shelter: the burial of an adult man and young girl that dates to 11,700 years ago. The exhibit space also includes a facsimile of the excavation complete with the original tools employed by the excavators.
The double burial at Horn Shelter is the only one recorded from the Paleoindian period in North America. The burial also included numerous grave inclusions. These artifacts consisted of turtle shells, deer antler tools, bird claws, coyote teeth, snail shell beads, and bird shells. A finely made bone needle was also recovered. The exhibit features replicas of these objects and photographs by Smithsonian photographer, Chip Clark. The museum houses lifetimes of photographs, history, artifacts and more.
A log cabin, Jacob Olson’s childhood home, was moved to the museum ground in 1985 and received a Texas Historical Marker the following year. Collections at the Bosque Museum include:
Native American Collection
Large Collection of Native American Artifacts collected in Bosque County dating back to 10,000 years ago and down through the Archaic and Historic Period. Has major exhibit about the Paleo-Americans found in the Horn Shelter in Bosque County.
Collection include 150 long guns and hand guns dating from 1750’s to the modern era. Major exhibit contains firearms from every conflict in which the United States fought from 1776 through WW II.
Recognized as the largest repository of Norwegian artifacts in the South and Southwest. Many items are associated with the Norse Community in Bosque County. King Olaf V of Norway visited the Museum in 1982 to see this collection and the chair crafted by the early Norwegian Pioneer, Cleng Peerson.
Norwegian Book Collection
Large Collection of Norwegian Language Books brought from Norway by the Norwegian Immigrants to Texas. Most of these books were used in an early lending library in the Norse Community. Earliest book dates to 1735.
Texas Primitive Furniture
Examples of early Texas furniture made in Bosque County. Miss Ima Hogg has included three pieces in her book on Texas Pioneer Furniture.
Early photographs and images of the first immigrants, their homes and everyday life in Bosque County.
Dresses, Christening Gowns, quilts, weavings, needlework dating back to the 1850’s. Large collection of spinning wheels and looms.
Early Education Collection
Collection of photographs, books, documents and other material from the early schools and colleges in Bosque County.
Early Medical Collection
Collection of artifacts, medical equipment and documents used by the first physicians in Bosque County.