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