The History of the
Lindsay Railroad Museum in Texarkana
The idea for a Texarkana railroad museum began with Mark Shoptaw and Jimmy Smith in the spring of 2010. They wanted to have additional events for the First Annual Railfest that year. Auby and Beverly Rowe owned a vacant building on E. Broad Street that backed up to the Front Street Festival Plaza, where the Railfest would be held and they were willing to work with the Texarkana Museums System and the Railfest and Front Street Festival Plaza committees to make the museum happen.
On the day of the Railfest , this temporary museum had more than two-hundred visitors. This showed that there was a demand in the local area for a venue honoring our railroad history. Texarkana itself was founded in the winter of 1873-74 by the sale of town lots owned by the Cairo & Fulton Railroad on the Arkansas side, and the Texas & Pacific Railroad on the Texas side. Over the next century, nearly every family in Texarkana had one or more members who were employed by one of the nine railroads that had regional offices here.
The building that was loaned for the first Railfest was a perfect site for Texarkana’s Railroad Museum and the Rowe’s began plans to permanently convert 3,500 square feet of space in this building into the railroad museum. In the fall of 2011, Dr. Rowe was contacted by two local citizens who wanted to donate money to this museum in honor of Jeff and Becky Lindsay, who have strong ties to the railroad industry. Their donation is allowing the building to be brought up to code and modernized to better serve visitors’ needs.
The Lindsay Railroad Museum will have its Grand Opening on May 12, 2012, as part of the Railfest festivities. Until then, the museum is open by appointment through Texarkana Museums System. They can be contacted by calling (903) 793-4831, or by emailing http://www.texarkanamuseums.org.