Idabel, OK (KMSS) — The Red River flows throughout much of the Ark-La-Tex, and the Museum of the Red River in Idabel, Oklahoma has spend almost 40 years studying the history of the area, and the people in it.
The museum now houses more than 20,000 Native American artifacts, but started out much smaller. It was started in 1974, because an Idabel family had collected too many artifacts for their house, so they had to decided if they wanted to build a museum or a bigger house.
They chose museum, and since they the museum size has grown exponentially; now including not just artifacts, but creatures too.
Just 12 miles from the museum, an Acrocanthosaurus atokensis, the state dinosaur of Oklahoma, was found. A cast of its skeleton is on display at the museum. While it doesn't fit in with their original theme of Native American history, museum staff couldn't pass it up.
Even with a local dinosaur, the coolest part of the museum is that it's touchable. After looking at the Native American artifacts, kids of all ages can make their own. From totem poles to beading on a loom, there are hours of entertainment in the museum.
And that's just another reason I love the Ark-La-Tex.