History of the W.K. Gordon Museum

Outside of the W.K. Gordon Center

Tarleton State University Foundation, Inc. built the Center, with support from Mrs. W.K. Gordon, Jr., Erath County, and the Texas Department of Transportation. It opened to the public in November 2002 and attracts thousands of visitors each year to exhibits and special programs. The Museum represents the culmination of a long-standing relationship between the University and the town of Thurber, Texas.

The W.K. Gordon Museum actively collects materials pertaining to the economic, political, and social history of Thurber and other centers of industrial development. When donated to the Center, these manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, and oral histories are cataloged and become valuable resources for education and research. Potential donors should contact the curator for additional information.

History is how we preserve our past and inspire our future. That’s why we at the W. K. Gordon Museum are proud to endorse the History Relevance Value Statement. The Value Statement is comprised of seven distinct tenets delineating critical ways the study of history is essential to individuals, communities, and our shared future. The full Value Statement can be found here.  

Research Center

The W.K. Gordon Research Center houses a collection of archival material pertaining to Thurber and the industrial history of Texas. Our archival records include items such as Texas and Pacific business records between the World Wars, from around 1920 to 1940, and a large historic photo collection of Thurber. Life in Thurber, coal mining, the brick industry, the town of Thurber, Texas and Pacific Coal Company are among some of the possible research topics that are waiting to be uncovered. 

Records are available to the public and scholars for research purposes by appointment only Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please contact Mary Adams for more information.