Exhibits are objects or collections displayed to the public for interest or instruction. The museum has permanent exhibits, exhibits coinciding with local events, and exhibits about topics of interest.
"Hopping John" Burleson received a headright Grant for 1280 acres of land, including this site, in 1838. He first viewed the bubbling springs in 1847. "Hopping John" transferred the property to his cousin, John Burleson, in 1854. Later that year, John Burleson transferred the deed to his two daughters. One daughter, Elizabeth Scott, and her husband George erected a hotel near the springs, which became known as Scott's White Sulphur Springs. The Scotts laid out the town of Lampasas in the summer of 1855. The springs became a popular recreation site, touted for the healing properties of the many minerals contained in the water. In 1863 the Scotts sold their property to William H. Storm and Thomas J. Moore; Storm sold the springs property to John L. Hanna and his sister Isabella Hanna in 1867. John Hanna's management heightened the popularity of the springs, and the hotel and springs became known as Hanna Springs. Health seekers flocked to Hanna's resort for years. When John Hanna died in Illinois in 1878, his property was sold by his heirs. The Hanna Pavilion, later called Hanna Opera House, was built soon after John Hanna's death. It wa large enough to host the State Democratic Convention in 1892. Will Campbell bought the property in 1904. Mrs. Campbell had the pavilion torn down and erected a smaller bath house in 1907. The property was known as Crystal Springs in the 1920s, after which its popularity waned. By the 1940s the public was no longer using the springs and the park became overgrown with brush. The property was donated to the city for public use in 1994.
Operation Long Horn
The close of World War II brought new tensions to America that led to the Cold War. Under fear of communism and nuclear assault, the U.S. Army and Air Force simulated a war in one of the largest maneuvers ever to be staged on American soil. Called Operation Long Horn, the simulation included thwarting an invasion and recovering from an atomic attack. To carry out the mock war, which began in late March 1952, ranchers between Waco and San Angelo signed easements to their land. Several Lometa-area ranches became sites of battles and campgrounds as more than 115,000 troops came to Texas for maneuvers. The town's population grew from 900 to 22,000, and the troops and supporting civilian staff members faced life in a small town. Local residents cooperated and participated by rationing and trading with troops, offering facilities for a mock U.S.O. (United Service Organizations) facility and attending programs and presentations given by soldiers. Such programs included an airdrop of 2,500 troops, as well as weapons, equipment and rations, in a training maneuver that pitted the 31st Infantry, 47th Infantry, and 1st armored division against the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In a nationally publicized event, aggressor forces captured and occupied Lampasas (17 mi. SE), establishing mock control of media and setting curfews. The city was liberated near the end of the simulation on April 9, 1952. The $3,300,000 exercise left local residents with damaged ranch land, outbuildings, fences and gates, as well as spooked livestock, but also gave them an opportunity to experience war in their own community. (2004 text from Texas Historical Marker 131183)
Though Operation Long Horn is long past Lampasas County citizens occasionally find leftover grenades and other ordinance.
The Occupiers: Trigons, the Aggressor Nation
Rock Church School
In the 1870s the community along the Lampasas River in the vicinity of Brooks crossing and what is now Rumley decided they needed a school. They built a two story limestone building, about 44' by 26' with walls 18 inches thick at the base with fireplaces on each story sharing a chimney. They used local limestone, made their own mortar. Like other 'schools' of that era the school was used as a church and a meeting hall. In 1917 Rock Church School was consolidated with Clayton School forming Clayrock School. Rock Church School was demolished about 1923 or 1924. It's rock was recycled to build a barn, that is still in use today. In 2012 with the consent and support of the current landowners, Boy Scout Troupe 200 and the Keystone Square Museum were “Digging in the Past” at the site. The Scouts will earn their Archeology Merit Badge and Lampasas County will know more about it's colorful history.