Starting May 12th at Texarkana’s Old Town Museum, find out what life is like in the “Gateway City of Texas”. It’s 1890’s Texarkana and business is booming! At the center of new railway lines and westward expansion, this town is growing rapidly. By 1896, 14,000 citizens are living in Texarkana. Its even got all the modern conveniences-a waterworks, electric lighting, sewers and an ice factory. Five miles of street car lines get everyone around town quickly. Here are 3 of the recreated storefronts that you’ll see when visiting Texarkana’s Old Town Museum.
Ahern and O’Dwyers Dry Goods
One of the first stores to open on Broad Street, you can visit the store that was actually in two locations between 1884 and 1910. Two Irish immigrants are the owners and came to Texarkana only recently. Here, local ladies buy all kinds of fabric and notions to build a great wardrobe. Ahern and O’Dwyers business is expanding to cover three floors and a basement full of domestic needs. At the second location, families buy implements and apparel needed for life on the farm. To complete your outfit, check out the latest in fashionable hats and shoes in the shop. In the recreated storefront, take a look at vintage clothing and accessories that might be for sale in the 1890’s.
Buhrmann and Chatfield Hardware
With all the building going on in town, you’ll need a good hardware store to keep up. Open since 1879, Buhrmann and Chatfield is a favorite gathering place of local builders and tradesmen. You can find almost any part or material you need to handle your projects. The storefront in Texarkana’s Old Town features a life size authentic backdrop of the interior of this store, including some colorful characters who work here.
Not a surprise, in this Texas town saloons are plentiful! As many as 23 different saloons and dance halls are open in the 1880’s. At Cassidy’s, imagine how local teen Scott Joplin is perfecting his trade as a ragtime musician in one of the local dance halls. Sorry… In this recreated saloon there’s no hard liquor, but make time to enjoy a cold sarsaparilla or fountain treat.
Texarkana’s Old Town museum is located at 202 East Broad Street. To learn more about the early life of the city built on the Arkansas and Texas state line click here.