Day Trips

The Franklin County Museum holds a treasure trove of artifacts and stories

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

The Franklin County Museum in Mount Vernon holds a treasure trove of artifacts and stories. Very few small-town depositories can match the small northeastern Texas town's unique and well-presented collection of rare sports memorabilia and natural history items.

In 2006, Don Meredith returned to his home town and received a hero's welcome at the opening of "The Don Meredith Exhibit" in the town's former fire station. The Meredith family donated hundreds of items from "Dandy" Don's career as a Dallas Cowboy and sports announcer, including his 1971 Emmy and personal photos.

Meredith, who passed away in 2010, grew up in Mount Vernon, and the museum is two blocks from where his parents once owned a dry-goods store.

A.W. Nations never knew Meredith, but their stories are intertwined in the museum. An amateur naturalist in South Texas, Nations purchased a collection of bird eggs at an estate sale in 1947 that was donated to the museum. Collected from 1880 to 1900, the 222 eggs include three from birds now extinct. The Smithsonian Institution was so impressed with the collection that it helped design the climate-controlled displays.

The Franklin County Museum is at 201 S. Kaufman in Mount Vernon. The hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm, but it is recommended to call 903/537-7012 to be sure the door will be unlocked.

1,061st in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: The Grotto, San Antonio
Day Trips: The Grotto, San Antonio
Man-made cave part of “Art on the River”

Gerald E. McLeod, July 3, 2020

Day Trips: Port Isabel Lighthouse
Day Trips: Port Isabel Lighthouse
The lighthouse guided ships through the channel between Padre Island and the mainland

Gerald E. McLeod, June 26, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Mount Vernon, The Don Meredith Exhibit, A.W. Nations

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle