116 N. Broadway
We cordially invite you to visit the Museum!
Hours: Mon. - Thurs., 9-12 & 1-3
or by Appointment
Mailing address: CCMA, 416 E. Iowa, Walters, OK 73572
580-875-3335 (Chamber of Commerce) or 580-875-3054 (Linda Garrison)
The museum is owned by the City of Walters
and operated by the Cotton County Museum Association.
Dave Boyer had a dream. He wanted to see the history of Cotton County and its people preserved for future generations. To this end he acquired many interesting artifacts to form a collection he hoped would become a permanent museum for the people of this area. He donated his collection to the City of Walters and even deeded one of his buildings to them as a place to establish the museum.
In its former life the building had been the Grand Theatre, commonly known as the "little show." The "big show," the Thompson Theatre, was located across the street. The Grand Theatre showed regular run movies, but the big attractions, and the ones the middle-age and older folks remember best, were the Saturday afternoon cowboy movies - Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes and Andy Devine, Gene Autrey and Smiley Burnett, Hopalong Cassidy, Wild Bill Elliott, Lash LaRue, the Cisco Kid, Tom Mix, Jimmy Wakely, Johnny Mack Brown, and John Wayne. The weekly serials and the cartoons were the icing on the cake. Twenty cents would get you into the show and buy a coke and a bag of popcorn.
Through the years, since his death in 1959, the collection had been cared for by interested individuals, but the establishment of a proper and permanent museum setting was never accomplished. That is, until Darlene Marlow decided that we should take what was there and develop an actual museum. In 2002 she was instrumental in forming a committee to explore this idea. Two years went by with ideas still being debated, such as where to put it. The front portion of the building it was in was occupied by the Walters Chamber of Commerce, which left the large middle room for a museum with the back area for storage and work space. However, this was not a lot of space when you thought about developing a museum. Other locations were discussed, but nothing seemed to be workable.
Finally, in March, 2004, Sharon Wiley and Linda Garrison just took the bull by the horns and said, "Let's bloom where we're planted." The city painted the room, cleaned the floor, and installed additional lights in the back area. Sharon and Linda began to organize, inventory and clean the items in the collection. Items were grouped by type. We began to actively seek donations, went to garage and estate sales, and found things on eBay. The collection grew, the displays were organized, and after two and a half months, it began to look like a museum. Since that time we have added many items and photographs, and have expanded the exhibits into the front Chamber room. Dave Boyer's dream finally became a reality!