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One of the early ranch families in the area, the Espys, in 1967 donated the Nick Mersfelder homestead to the Society for use as a museum. Named the Overland Trail Museum, it is located on the last known unpaved section of the San Antonio-El Paso Road/Southern Overland Trail. Today it contains many artifacts given by descendants of pioneer families, and items owned and used by Mr. Mersfelder, a former Texas Ranger. The 1883 adobe structure was doubled in size four years later when Nick, then the local Justice of the Peace who purchased the home in 1897, added a large room to be used as his court. After his death in 1939, the court room was used temporarily as a schoolroom for first, second, and third grade children in the segregated Mexican School.
Nick was the best known of our local characters and many colorful tales are related by the volunteer docents at the museum. A man of many talents and interests, he loaned money when the bank wouldn't (at triple interest), repaired guns, raised goats, was a photographer, played every instrument but the slide trombone. He was a fine musician and played with the San Antonio Symphony. He owned the first automobile in town, a 1909 Lindsley High Wheeler, but never drove it after he was required to register it. Privately owned, the car is still in Fort Davis, and still runs.
The museum is open 1pm to 5pm each day from March through November. There is no admission charge, donations gratefully accepted, and special tours can be arranged by calling Pat Draheim at 432-426-3404 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be a volunteer call Pat.
This is the Overland Trail Museum
Please come by and see us for yourself
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Map shows location two blocks south of true location