Interactive exhibits and historic artifacts weave together to tell the story of Bridgeport’s history at the Bridgeport Heritage Museum.
Located in the lower floor of the Bridgeport Visitor Center on Halsell Street, the museum begins the tale of the city with an exhibit about the Butterfield Stagecoach days.
Detailed maps show the mail route, built by John Butterfield, that began in Tipton, Mo., and ended in San Francisco, passing through Wise County. The city of Bridgeport sprang up at the site of a toll bridge along this route. Later the city moved a few miles to be closer to the rail line completed in 1893 that ran to Fort Worth from Oklahoma.
A feature of the exhibit allows visitors to see just how much (or how little) room there was in a six-passenger stagecoach by standing in a space the same size as a stagecoach. Nine rules of riding in a stagecoach are also listed, including “Forbidden topics of discussion are stagecoach robberies and Indian uprisings.”
Another exhibit explains the process of oil and natural gas exploration in Bridgeport. An interactive feature allows visitors to test their knowledge of oil patch slang.
The coal mining exhibit includes video of coal miners who faced the danger of venturing into the dark mines day after day to earn a living. It also explains how the discovery of the coal mines contributed to the growth of the city.
To schedule a tour, call museum curator Ken Sprecher at (940) 683-5389.
Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Admission is free.
For more information, call (940) 683-5389.
- 812 Halsell St. Suite B
- (940) 683-5389
- Ken Sprecher, curator
- Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Monday – Saturday
- Admission: Free
Exhibits tell the story of Bridgeport and include:
- Butterfield Overland Mail Co. exhibit
- Interpretive panels for the Rock Island Railroad and artifacts
- Old telegraph
- Oil and natural gas exhibit
- Coal mine exhibit
- Lake Bridgeport exhibit
- Rock quarry, brick, farming, ranching and dairy exhibits
- Historical stagecoach housed upstairs
- May: Butterfield Stage Days
- October: Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival