July 27, 2009
A museum devoted to the preservation of the region's agriculture history has been in the artifact collection phase for 40 years.
Long before it was named the American Museum of Agriculture, former County Commissioner Alton Brazell was already rescuing implements and vintage tractors from an oblivion of rust.
He began saving equipment in 1969, according to Lacee Fraze, executive director of the museum that currently occupies a building temporarily leased from the American Wind Power Center at 1501 Canyon Lake Drive.
"He thought it was important to hang onto the heritage of our farming community," she said.
Now a fence is being erected around a 25-acre tract that was set aside by the city of Lubbock for the museum across Broadway to the north in Mackenzie Park.
Plans by Texas Tech to save 17 acres for an agriculture heritage museum became a low priority for the university, and eventually went partially to the International Cultural Center, Brazell said.
"So, we just kept on collecting equipment. We owned some property at Shallowater where we could store it. My main purpose was to collect the equipment so that when we did have an agricultural heritage center, we would have the equipment."