pearce museum

a civil war + Western art Collection

The Pearce Museum at Navarro College consists of a number of focused collections – namely documents, artifacts, and photographs related directly to the American Civil War and works of art depicting the historic and modern American West. In addition, the Pearce Museum is the repository for the Navarro College Archives.
Mon-Fri 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 4 p.m.
3100 W Collin Street
Corsicana TX 95110
903-875-7642 
http://www.pearcemuseum.com


step back in time

Pioneer Village is a multi-building historical attraction and research facility focusing on Navarro County from 1838 forward, full of period artifacts and memorabilia. Pioneer Village is also home to The Lefty Frizzell Museum. 
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (closed Noon – 1 p.m.)
Saturdays 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
912 W Park Ave.
Corsicana, Texas 75110 
903-654-4846


pioneer village

oil history

Brief History
This 0.5-acre park was dedicated on the morning of December 10, 1990. Petroleum Park and oil derrick therein mark the “Birthplace of the Texas Oil Industry”. The first oil discovery in Texas leading to commercial oil production was made on this site in 1894 while drilling for water. 

Corsicana Oil History
Soon after, the first commercial oilfield in Texas developed from this discovery well east across residential Corsicana. Eighty-five foot high wooden oil derricks sprouted from every yard and vegetable patch. By 1900, the Corsicana town oilfield was yielding 800,000 barrels of oil annually with over 600 operating wells completed within the city. 

The Corsicana town oilfield was the first commercial oilfield development anywhere in Texas, pre-dating the discovery of the famous Lucas gusher at Spindletop in 1901. In fact, the Lucas gusher was drilled by a Corsicana drilling crew, the Hamill brothers, with Corsicana drilling equipment freighted to the gulf coast site.


418 S 12th St.
Corsicana, Texas 75110

Brief History
This 0.5-acre park was dedicated on the morning of December 10, 1990. Petroleum Park and oil derrick therein mark the “Birthplace of the Texas Oil Industry”. The first oil discovery in Texas leading to commercial oil production was made on this site in 1894 while drilling for water. 

Corsicana Oil History
Soon after, the first commercial oilfield in Texas developed from this discovery well east across residential Corsicana. Eighty-five foot high wooden oil derricks sprouted from every yard and vegetable patch. By 1900, the Corsicana town oilfield was yielding 800,000 barrels of oil annually with over 600 operating wells completed within the city. 

The Corsicana town oilfield was the first commercial oilfield development anywhere in Texas, pre-dating the discovery of the famous Lucas gusher at Spindletop in 1901. In fact, the Lucas gusher was drilled by a Corsicana drilling crew, the Hamill brothers, with Corsicana drilling equipment freighted to the gulf coast site.

Oil Industry Firsts
Other oil industry firsts for Corsicana included the first commercial oil refinery built in the mid-continent west of the Mississippi River. The refinery (1898) was built by a predecessor company of Magnolia Petroleum Company and Mobil Oil, under the direction of Texas oil industry pioneer Joseph S. Cullinan. Exxon Mobil, successor of Magnolia Petroleum and Mobil Oil, maintains one of the four original stills from the historic refinery on the company’s South 15th Street facility in Corsicana.

Numerous founders of the oil industry titans soon to come - including Magnolia Petroleum (Mobil Oil), Humble Oil (Exxon), Texaco, and Gulf Oil - found their start in the Texas oil industry in Corsicana in the 1890s. 

418 S 12th St.
Corsicana, Texas 75110

Petrolium park

Oakwood Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Navarro County, dating back to the early 1800's. The diversity of grave sites is truly something to behold. It is said that more than 500 veterans of the Civil War rest here. The cemetery is not only one of architectural substance, but also a place of historical significance. Many people make special trips to view the vast contrast that occurs in the presence of natural beauty and ancestral architecture.

700 N 15th Street
Corsicana, TX 75110
903-654-4860

oakwood cemetary

On October 10, 2009, the Corsicana Field Aviation Heritage Foundation dedicated a new memorial to honor all Army Air Force (AAF) Flying Cadets and the civilian and military personnel that were instrumental in their training. Located on the original WWII site of the Air Activities of Texas, Corsicana Army Air Field. The U.S. AAF Cadet Memorial consists of 5 acres of land with a central monument walkway.

Memorial Details
The walkway begins at the original gateway to the air field and incorporates pillars, sidewalks, and pads that date back to the 1941 construction of the facility. Incorporated into the 400-foot walkway are three separate circular patios. The first patio holds a life-size bronze statue of a cadet wearing a seat-pack parachute. This patio is dedicated to all AAF cadets. The second patio has a flagpole in the center and is dedicated to all who worked at Air Activities of Texas. On the third patio is a triangular monument that is dedicated to those airmen that lost their lives in WWII. One side of the monument contains the names of the men killed in training at Corsicana.

Three countries are represented here - USA, Mexico, and Brazil. The flags of all three nations will fly over this monument. Another side of this monument will honor Maj. Thomas McGuire, a Medal of Honor recipient that trained at Corsicana Field. The third side of the monument honors all airmen from the United States that made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II. 

C. David Campbell Field
9000 Navarro Road
Corsicana, TX 75110
903-654-4847

cadet memorial

The Coyote Squadron, a unit of the Commemorative Air Force, operates from the N.H. “Tucker” Hardgrave Memorial Hangar at C. David Campbell Field, the Corsicana, Texas, municipal airport.

One of the missions of the Commemorative Air Force is the restoration to flying condition and the continued maintenance of World War II military aircraft. The Coyote Squadron has such an aircraft, a PT-19, that has been fully restored.

Air Sho
In addition, the Commemorative Air Force seeks to perpetuate in the memory and hearts of all Americans the spirit in which these great airplanes were flown. To that end, and to educate and entertain visitors, the Coyote Squadron has hosted each year since 1999 an air show that features many of these airplanes as well as many other aircraft. The aircraft, owned privately or operated by other units of the Commemorative Air Force, are flown in and displayed during the air show.

C. David Campbell Field
9000 Navarro Road
Corsicana, TX 75110
903-654-4847

CAF coyote squadron

The Glenn Cumbie Museum of Aviation and Military History is comprised of two rooms in the Corsicana Municipal Airport terminal, a hanger display area and a five-acre U.S.A.A.F. Cadet Memorial plaza. On exhibit are military and aviation artifacts from all periods, including an extensive collection of uniforms. Decorative engine displays include Ranger and Kinner models. The library collection consists of periodicals, manuals and everyday papers of the common soldier. Original artifacts from Corsicana Field, as well as a large collection of newspapers, are on display.

C. David Campbell Field
9000 Navarro Road
Corsicana, TX 75110
903-654-4847

cumbie aviation museum

General Joseph Orville ""Jo"" Shelby (1830-1897) led a cavalry force of Missourians known as the Iron Brigade and later, the Iron Division. From 1861-1864, his troops rode with generals Thomas C. Hindman, John S. Marmaduke, and Sterling Price in Missouri and Arkansas. During this time, Shelby earned praise for his command.

Planned Attack
Shelby and his men wintered in Texas in 1864-1865. In the spring, when word of Confederate surrenders in the east reached him, he was ordered to lead his men to Shreveport, Louisiana, to surrender. Instead, they planned an attack on the city to prevent collapse of the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy.

Waylaid by severe weather, they decided to go to Mexico. Shelby's soldiers stopped along the banks of Chambers Creek, south of Chatfield. Near here, they made their last bivouac as a Confederate unit. The next morning, June 2, 1865, the troops lined up for assembly and held what has been called "the last review of the Confederacy." By that time, they were the last organized unit in any Confederate state.

Flee to Mexico
Following the review of his troops, Shelby delivered his farewell then asked his men to accompany him to Mexico. Hundreds reportedly answered his call. The next week, while his men gathered supplies from nearby Corsicana, Shelby visited the Hodge Oaks Plantation of Capt. Robert Hodge at Chatfield. Once prepared, the troops left for Mexico, where their offer of military service to Emperor Maximilian was diplomatically rejected. The men were offered land, though, and many, including Shelby, stayed.

In 1867, Shelby returned to Missouri, where he farmed and served as U.S. Marshal. His dedication is celebrated there, as well as in Texas.

4511 FM 1603
Chatfield, TX 75105

last review of the confederacy site