With the help of a $6,596 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative, the Frontier Times Museum will install new energy-efficient windows that will lower the museum’s energy costs, help protect important displays and brighten its interior with natural light.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of $1,649, will allow the Bandera museum to replace rotting wooden frames and thin, single-pane windows that date to the building’s original construction in 1933. The project is part of a capital plan to renovate the museum and expand it by 7,500 square feet.
Museum Executive Director Rebecca Norton said the new windows, which will be double-paned and contain an ultraviolet ray filter, should be installed by early 2021. The new windows will help shield the museum’s exhibits and collections from sun damage and will help the museum provide better climate control to better preserve artifacts and documents.
“When we had to shut down in March because of COVID-19, we spent the time cleaning the museum,” Norton said. “We took down our heavy drapes, and that’s when I thought, ‘We have to get new windows.’ It looked so much better in here to have natural sunshine coming in – just so light and inviting.
“We’re so excited about this project,” Norton said. “It’s going to make such a difference. There was major cheering going on here when we got the email about the grant.”
Founded by J. Marvin Hunter Sr., an author, historian and journalist who died in 1957, the Frontier Times Museum lists its mission as preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of Bandera County and the Texas frontier. The museum, which added a Western art gallery in 1972, shares its name with Frontier Times magazine, which Hunter first published in 1923.
“The building itself is an artifact,” Norton said. “It’s made out of native limestone, and within the walls you have petrified wood, fossilized coral and various crystals. The museum is a traditional cabinet of curiosity, with eclectic collections that speak to Bandera County and life on the Texas frontier.”
Along with an extensive collection of cowboy hats and a display recognizing Bandera’s hometown rodeo champions, the museum also has a Texas Heroes Hall of Honor. Inductees include folklorist and author J. Frank Dobie, Texas State Photographer Wyman Meinzer and cowboy Bill Pickett, who invented the practice of bulldogging or steer wrestling.
The community grant is one of 27 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp
Press release courtesy of LCRA. Photo courtesy of Frontier Times Museum Facebook page.