Texas Museum Puts 500 Cowboy Hats On Display
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - The Cow Lot Western Wear store was a place you could hang your hat, literally.
The store, which opened in 1953, sold boots and cowboy hats, but customers could leave their old hats to hang on the wall when they bought new ones.
Owner Nat Fleming closed the store in 2006, but his hat collection, called "Nat's Hats," will be preserved at the Museum of North Texas History. A display of more than 500 of the hats will open in the museum's Heritage Hall on July 25.
The hats are labeled with the former owner's names, and some also bear the name of the ranch where the cowboy worked. A couple of hats belonged to rodeo stars. They range from "light-colored to black, from relatively new to absolutely worn to a frazzle," said museum director Lita Watson. Some are plain, others are adorned with feathers, beading, eyelets, braided leather or a colored band around the crown.
The museum is 150 miles from Dallas. Details at http://www.month-ntx.org.