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  • UNIQUE MONUMENT
    Located at the Devil's Rope Museum

    3 Blocks East of Main
    McLean, Texas

    by Delbert Trew
    Delbert Trew
    McLean TX - Devil's Rope Museum, Route66
    Devil's Rope Museum, Route 66, McLean Texas
    Photo Courtesy Rick Vanderpool, 2010
    Imagine two huge solid barbed wire balls weighing approximately 400 pounds each, sitting atop limestone rock fenceposts and joined by antique wrought iron fencing. This unique monument is the creation of Frank and Violet Smith of Keller, Texas. The Smiths are charter members of the Devil's Rope Museum of McLean, Texas, and the museum, known as the largest barbed wire museum in the world, features this "Tribute to Barbed Wire" monument at the front entrance. It has been photographed by more than 85,000 visitors since 1992.
    Route 66, McLean, Texas - Tribute to Barbed Wire
    The "TRIBUTE TO BARBED WIRE" The Only Monument in the World dedicated to Barbed Wire
    Photo courtesy TXDoT
    Route 66, McLean, Texas - Barbed Wire Museum Interior
    Devil's Rope Museum Interior
    Photo courtesy TXDoT
    The Smith's used it as a yard ornament and nameplate for their home in Keller, Texas for many years as they were avid collectors of barbed wire and other memorabilia. They donated the monument to the museum in 1992 and it was moved and erected permanently at the present site.

    Historians state that, "Barbed wire gave us control of the land, and windmills made the land habitable." Barbed wire was chosen as one of the most significant patents to come out of the Industrial Revolution. Collectors say, "Get Hooked, on collecting barbed wire."

    Delbert Trew
    "It's All Trew" March 24, 2004 column
    McLean TX - Barbed Wire, Devil's Rope Museum, Route66
    Photo c ourtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    McLean TX - Devil's Rope Museum, Route66
    Photo c ourtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    Recent Acquisitions:

    Photos serve as reminder of boundaries' importance
    by Delbert Trew

    In our modern times when eminent domain and development arrogance often dominate the evening news, we received the story and photos of John Prather, a rancher who lived in Otero County, N.M. Prather garnered national attention in the 1950s by taking a heroic stand against the U.S. government's attempt to condemn his ranch in order to add it to the nearby McGregor Missile Range, a part of Fort Bliss, near El Paso.

    Although the Devil's Rope Museum in McLean
    has a huge library about barbed wire, some 6,000 related artifacts and a section dedicated to ranches and brands, we still welcome true stories about the uses and history of these subjects.

    The story of John Prather fit our requirements as it told of early-day fence building, the importance of defining our boundaries and protecting our right to own land until death, if need be.

    The package contained photos and published documents plus eight livestock brands used by the family, all registered with the New Mexico State Brand Records dating from 1888 to modern times. A special display has been constructed to house and show this information....
    McLean TX - Devil's Rope Museum, Route66
    Photo c ourtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    About Barbed Wire Fences:

  • Digging post holes by hand was hard work
  • by Delbert Trew
    Among the hundreds of jobs associated with farming and ranching, digging postholes by hand is by far my least favorite. Today, most postholes are dug by equipment powered by tractors, motors and hydraulics. Iron tee posts driven into the ground have pretty well replaced the need for digging post holes. But not so long ago all postholes were dug by hand with a pair of diggers.

    Of interest is the fact the Devil's Rope Museum in McLean has approximately 60 patented post hole diggers on display all showing different designs and mechanisms to make the job easier. more
    Visit McLean Texas | Route 66 |

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    Texas Panhandle | Texas Towns | Museums | Ranching | Texas
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