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Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Clifton: Bosque Museum


Since 1954, the award-winning Bosque Museum has been a “must see” destination for anyone, be it local or visitor, wishing to better experience the rich and diverse history of Clifton and Bosque County. The museum is an ever-evolving cultural history location housing artifacts and resources representing every stage of the county’s historic and prehistoric past.

The museum had its origins in 1924, when Norwegian pioneer Jacob Olson bequeathed his enormous collection of artifacts and memorabilia to the former Clifton Lutheran College; with the provision the collection never leave Bosque County. When the college closed in 1954, the collection became the foundation of today’s Bosque Museum. The 1866 Jacob Olson log cabin was reconstructed on museum grounds in 1985 and received a Texas Historical Marker. It remains a popular attraction on tours for old and young alike.

Befitting Clifton’s notoriety as “The Norwegian Capital of Texas,” the museum has a strong emphasis on this unique heritage of the area and holds the largest collection of Norwegian artifacts in the South and southwest. This collection includes a disc plow invented by Ole Ringness, which revolutionized agriculture, and an extensive Norwegian language book collection. It also includes a chair made by Cleng Peerson, the “Father of Norwegian Immigration to America.” Peerson spent his final years in Bosque County, and is buried near Clifton. King Olav V of Norway visited the museum in 1982 when ceremonies were held to observe the 200th anniversary of Cleng Peerson’s birth.

In recent years, one of the museum’s most popular attractions has been the permanent “Horn Shelter Exhibit.” The exhibit documents visually the earliest known inhabitants of Bosque County, dating back 11,200 years. The exhibit faithfully features an reproduction of the shelter, located near the Brazos River forming the northern border of the county, which included the remains of an adult male and child, along with burial goods from the Paleo-American age (before the time of native Americans). The Horn Shelter site has been the subject of a documentary by National Geographic and the exhibit was developed with assistance from the Smithsonian.

 


Location

  • 301 South Avenue Q
  • Clifton, Texas
  • 76634

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Adults: $5, Ages 10 and under: Free.  Group rates are available.


Map