Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is a history museum on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, U.S.A., a small city south of Amarillo.The museum's contents are owned and controlled by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, while West Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M University Board of Regents maintains and provides the facilities. Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum claims to be the largest history museum in the state of Texas with 70,000 visitors annually and more than three million artifacts.
The museum's permanent exhibits include American Western life and agriculture history artifacts, art, paleontology, geology, Native American art and artifacts, firearms, antique vehicles, decorative arts and furniture, petroleum industry artifacts, sports artifacts, and textiles. The museum also features the outdoor Pioneer Town that includes a livery, saloon, schoolhouse, pioneer cabin and other buildings.
Some of the permanent exhibits include "People of the Plains: Experiments in Living", displays the difference and similarities of past and present Southern Plains settlers; "Pioneer Town", a recreation of a small settlement in the Texas Panhandle in the Early 1900s; "The Don D. Harrington Petroleum Wing", a two floor exhibit showing the Texas Panhandle's oil boom years in the 1920s and 1930s; and "The T-Anchor Ranch House", an exhibit outside of the museum which recreates the original house that was constructed in the late 1870s.
From 1951 until his death in 1963, Western artist Harold Dow Bugbee was curator of the museum. In 1990, the museum opened a replica of Bugbee's art studio. On the death of Olive Vandruff Bugbee in 2003, the museum inherited the couple's $1 million estate. The museum also houses much of the western art collection of Frank Reaugh (1860-1945), who stressed pastoral harmony in nature in his paintings.