Thursday, July 26, 2012

Travel Texas :: The Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum and the Ezekiel Airship

A few weekends ago, our family visited the Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum on a whim (we just happened to be in Pittsberg). I had never heard of the NTRH Museum, but when I saw the sign regarding the Ezekiel Airship, my curiosity was peaked.

Upon entering the museum, visitors are directed to the section regarding railroad memorabilia. The boys oohed over the telegraph machines while my husband and I caught up on local history.

The next exhibit room included early Americana industries featured in the region, along with their implements: farming, logging, oil, etc. The exhibit also housed an extensive collection of Caddoan Native American artifacts. However, the highlight of the museum lie in an entirely different building.

Filled with a firetruck, a steam engine, a wildlife diorama, and a small art gallery, this building was home to something of even more appeal: the Ezekiel Airship.

When I turned the corner and looked up, it was like looking at something di Vinci may have created. As a scaled down replica, this Ezekiel Airship was not the one that flew, however, it was built to spec from the original design of Reverend Burrell Cannon, a local Baptist minister. It is said that the Ezekiel Airship flew a whole year earlier than the Wright Brothers' plane at Kitty Hawk in 1903. While there were no official records, a museum film provides generational witnesses, as well as the story behind the Reverend's inspiration for this flying machine.

I found it very interesting the basis for this craft came from the book of Ezekiel, chapter 1 verses 15-22:

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around. 19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

In conjunction with the museum exhibits, ticket holders may also visit the farmstead. We didn't go this particular trip as we had previous plans, but I do hope to return in the future. If you go, make sure you allow time to visit both portions of the museum and leave about 20 minutes to view the documentary on the Reverend Burrell Cannon and his Ezekiel Airship.

The Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum does not have a website; however, I've added pertinent information below.

Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Depot and Museum. From US 271 take Jefferson St./Hwy 557 west into downtown. Turn south at Mt. Pleasant St./Hwy 238, then make an immediate right onto E. Marshall St. Two blocks, on the left.
Th-Sa 10 am - 4 pm. (Call to verify)
Adults $4, Students $2.

1 comment:

  1. This museum is a jewel on par with any museum one might visit in any city. The museum also operate a working Farmstead where children can see and experience the life of days gone by. Make sure you stop by for a visit. The Annual Pittsburg Festival is held the third week of September. Experience both for an outstanding weekend.