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Desert Caballeros Western Museum

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

The Desert Caballeros Western Museum in the historic ranching and mining town of
Wickenburg, Arizona, takes visitors back in time to experience the heritage, excitement and
romance of the Southwest and desert frontier. The museum was founded in 1960 by Roy Coxwell
and a few friends in what was the historic Brayton General Store building. They worked with
a local riding group called the Desert Caballeros, which led to the museum’s current name.
“A lot of people who came to town for the Caballeros annual ride were also big donors to
the museum,” says Royce Kardinal, museum director. The 20,000-square-foot museum includes
gallery and exhibit space, classrooms and work areas. A walk through the Aiken Fisher
Gallery takes you past the paintings and bronzes of Russell, Bierstadt, Remington, Catlin
and Phippen that tell the tales of the West. These are but a few of the 400 pieces of
Western art. “One thing that sets us apart is that after viewing the artifacts depicted in
the paintings, visitors can move to the adjacent galleries to see the real items on
display,” says Kardinal. Dioramas lead visitors back thousands of years through the history
of the people and events that formed the region. A mineral and gem gallery displays a
collection of gold, silver, copper and turquoise, plus 200 other minerals from around the
world. In 1999, Abe and Lalla Hays loaned the museum their personal collection of more than
700 items of cowboy and Western memorabilia that now comprises the Hays “Spirit of the
Cowboy” collection. Visitors will marvel at one of the largest personal collection of
Western artifacts on display in the country. The museum has come to be known as Arizona’s
most Western museum and is a gem waiting to be discovered. It is an exciting travel
destination for RVers around the country. Desert Caballeros Western Museum, (928) 684-2272,

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