Uncertainty Surrounds Fate of Texas Civil War Museum’s Artifacts

The Texas Civil War Museum, with the “most comprehensive” collection of Civil War artifacts in the West, is closing at year-end due to the owner’s retirement, according to a Dallas Morning News article. They say,

“The Texas Civil War Museum, which boasts “the most comprehensive collection of artifacts west of the Mississippi River,” is set to close at the end of the year.

The 15,500-square-foot museum, in White Settlement just west of Fort Worth, opened in 2006 and has hosted visitors from all over the world. Its last day is set for Dec. 30, when the owner plans on retiring.

Artifacts from both sides of the war line the building’s walls, with the Union exhibit on the left mirroring the Confederate exhibit on the right.”

Historians and scholars alike shared their disbelief to the museum’s closing as they knew the value and impact of its collections and artifacts according to a Fort Worth Star Telegram article which says, 

“It’s a very well-done museum, just remarkable,” said Sam Small, who is already selling photos from the collection through The Horse Soldier, a military antiques dealer in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “I don’t know that anyone’s ever seen a collection like this.”

The museum was a “passion project” for the Richeys, he wrote by email. “This impressive collection of artifacts and relics remains one of the truly great collections from that period of American history,” he wrote. “Times change, and the public’s interests change. Running a museum and stewarding physical reminders of the past is a challenge, and expensive, no matter the topic. The Texas Civil War Museum was a gift to the people of Texas and the citizens of Fort Worth and the surrounding area.” 

Currently, the museum’s artifacts are worth around $20 million to $25 million and some suggest that it may be the biggest private collection ever placed on the market.