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Pate Museum: going, going...


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#1 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 07:52 PM

I should have thought to do this a week ago. For those who haven't read it already: http://www.star-tele...ry/1825517.html

Also this: http://www.star-tele...ry/1845065.html

I've driven past it countless times but only been in a couple, the last time in the 90s. Don't know why I didn't stop more often, as cheap as I am. Well, I've got three more days; I'll make one of them count.

#2 801hme

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 06:08 AM

That's sad. Used to go there on school field trips when I was a kid in the '70s. I remember the trampoline they had in the ground; just step on it and bounce. Last time I was there would've been early '90s. Will try to make it out there one last time thursday....

#3 mmiller2002

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 12:15 PM

Went this past Sunday for the first tiem in 27 years living here. It was crowded.

#4 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 02:46 PM

Uh oh. Turns out they're closer to gone than the first article said. Today's S-T ran a correction saying that they will close tomorrow at 12:00, not Thursday.

I was just down there and it was pretty well-attended. In the back room was a reference library I'd clean forgotten about. The shiniest gem for me was a collection of bound issues of Trains magazine going back to the Forties. I really did not go there as often as I ought to have. The question now is what becomes of all that material, and whether it will end up in a place where the public will still have access to it.

Pardon me, I've got to go kick myself.

#5 Giraffe

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 07:28 AM

Wow; sad to hear that the Pate Museum is closing, but not totally surprising. The last time I was there (about 15 years ago), a lot of the stuff kept outdoors was getting pretty weathered and run-down. I've got a newspaper clipping in my scrapbook from when the Air Force reclaimed at least one of those airplanes (from what I remember, the Air Force wants museums to keep those planes looking nice if they're on static display for the public, and the Pate Museum simply didn't have the money for any security to keep dingbats from vandalism).

Among my earliest memories are a trip my family took to the Pate back in the early 1970's. I recall looking up from the inside of an Army tank.

My father and I took some Super 8 home movies from a trip we took back in the 1980's. They had some big, spherical mines used by the Navy on display. One of those big airplanes was looking pretty run-down even then.

Didn't they used to have big automotive swap meets at the Pate? I think it got moved to Texas Motor Speedway or something like that. My Boy Scout troop used to drive past the Pate down Hwy 377 on our way to Leonard Scout Reservation (which also no longer exists!) for campouts and one of my friends told me that it wasn't uncommon for rains to hit the place right before the automotive swap meet, and turn the Pate into a huge mud pit.

During my last trip to the Pate, I took a bunch of photographs. The automotive collection was kept indoors, and those cars still looked pretty good. They had an actual DeLorean and several other classics. There was also a London double-decker bus, but it was stored outside. One of the main buildings had an actual periscope from a submarine mounted in the lobby and sticking up through the roof, and patrons could peek through it and look up at the world around them.

Ah, well. We still owe Mr. Pate a big debt of gratitude. It sure was fun!

#6 Funkdoobiest

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:35 AM

I first went there as a kid with the YMCA summer program in like 82-83. It was a fun experience although I do not remember any classic cars. I did visit one more time in '91 and this meant the most to me. I joined a band when I was 13 and I was their sound man. I had always been interested in drums for years before I joined, this only helped me make my dream come true. I learned to play and sat in when the unreliable drummer wouldn't show up to rehearsal. So when he couldn't make a gig for a wedding I gladly filled in. It was a joyous moment for me as I was 15 by that time. And it was there at the Pate Museum Hall, my first gig. I later took his job when they fired him cause he wasn't as reliable as I was and I was almost as good as him by then (kids learn fast).

And a neat fact was that that wedding was my old hottie P.E. teacher in elementary school. Everybody had a crush on her. I really wanted to go one last time just to see and take pics of the interior of that hall. Do you think it would be impossible now to do this? I know it's closed now, but maybe, just maaaybeee.

#7 Arnold Ziffel

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:10 PM

Reminded me of a stagnant private collection. Museums do things to get their old patrons to visit again, and attract new patrons. That place hadn't done anything since I last saw it in 67. It's hard to call that a museum.

#8 Giraffe

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 10:56 PM

I found some photographs I took at the Pate Museum of Transportation the last time I visited the place, which has to be at least 15 years ago. I'll scan these and post a link soon, but many of these pix aren't the greatest quality. But I'll describe some of the items on display at the Pate back then:

* A 1938 Longhorn automobile. "Hand-built by Oliver Albert of Gonzales, Texas. All body panels were hand-formed from parts of 14 different makes of cars. Construction took 12 years. The Longhorn has a 120-inch wheelbase, is 19 feet 4 inches long and sits 3 feet 9 inches high. It weighs 2,800 pounds and is powered by a 1941 Lincoln V-12. Tires are mounted on 10-inch wheels."

* A 1981 DeLorean. "DeLoreans were one of the most heralded cars of its time, but they did not live up to their projected success. They were built in Northern Ireland from 1981 to 1983. Approximately 7,500 were built. The stainless-steel body and gull-wing doors were the DeLorean's most famous features. They are powered by a fuel-injected PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) V-6 engine and 5-speed transmission. Suggested retail price new was $25,000."

* A 1975 Trabant. "Since there is no longer an East Germany, we feel an example of East German motoring is appropriate for a museum. Trabants were built by the People's Enterprise of Sachsenring, Automobile and Motor Works. Production began in 1958 and the name Trabant (meaning satellite) was chosen to celebrate the Russian success with the first Sputnik. They soon became known as Trabbi for short.
"The Trabant body is made of a heavy plastic called Duroplast. It is powered by a 26 horsepower, 36 cubic-inch, two-stroke, two-cylinder engine. They weigh 1,355 pounds."
[This was a butt-ugly car. And it never worked all that well, either. As Red Green said, "The real reason the Berlin Wall came down was so they could get the tow trucks through."]

* A 1973 Jaguar XK-E Roadster.

* A 1967 Shelby Mustang GT-500.

And outside the automobile building, exposed to the elements, were the following:

* A Navy torpedo.
* A US Air Force helicopter (can't describe it; wait till I scan and post the photo).
* A London double-decker bus.
* A Ryan "Firebee" drone.
* A Republic F-105 Thunderchief
* A USAF T33A "Shooting Star"
* A couple of army tanks
* A "2-man submarine" [yeah, if both guys' legs were cut off].
* A Canadian Air Force jet
* Apollo training capsule [probably a boilerplate used in drop tests]
* Gemini training capsule [also probably a boilerplate]
* Neon sign from a Studebaker dealership
* A US Navy minesweeper
* A World War II US Navy destroyer deck gun
* A single-engine prop plane called the "Trojan"
* Big harbor buoys [they look like gigantic silver basketballs]
* A compressed air engine from a Rocky Mountain mine
* An old railroad passenger car.


#9 Giraffe

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:30 AM

Update: The April 9th, 2010 _Fort Worth Star-Telegram_ has an article about the latest goings-on with the items from the Pate Museum of Transportation.

The amphibious airplane from the 1950s called the HU-16 Albatross is being dismantled by some Coast Guard members. They've been looking for a plane like this for a memorial they're setting up in Florida. "Tail number 7176, manufactured by Grumman in 1951, was flown onto the museum's property in the early 1970s. It has sat outdoors through almost 40 Texas summers, been beaten by a goodly number of hailstones and had birds nest in its cockpit." The Coast Guard members even found the manuals for this plane at the Pate Museum, which will help them in restoring it. They plan to put the Albatross on static display in Florida, as a memorial to six crewmembers who perished in 1967 in the Gulf of Mexico during a rescue.

The Pate Museum of Transportation opened in Cresson in 1969, according to the article. "When the Albatross leaves on three flatbed trucks this weekend, only three airplanes will remain on the grounds: a C-119 Flying Boxcar, an F-101 Voodoo and an odd-shaped CH-21 helicopter nicknamed the Flying Banana."

Most of the other aircraft from the Pate have already been transferred to other museums and military bases across the country.

What about all the antique automobiles? They are being auctioned off on June 5.

#10 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:20 AM

Wow, wonder who will get the cab that Lee Harvey Oswald rode in. Or Nikita Khruchev's big car.
Isn't there a tiny family graveyard smack in the middle of the acreage? Does some McMansion now come with its own historical graveyard?
The loss of the swap meet was a tragedy. Now the entire Pate will be lost.
Wonder what will become of the actual buildings--the fine old church we used to picnic in front of? The nice picnic grounds in the yard of the Big House? The Big House itself?


#11 FortWorthLowrider

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:41 AM

Pate is having a swap meet today if any one is interested.
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#12 pelligrini

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:30 PM

There is a Pate Swap Meet this weekend, but it's still out at the speedway.
http://www.pateswapmeet.com/

Erik France


#13 FortWorthLowrider

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 06:29 PM

I went to the swap meet today. one of the worse I have been too for me. Very Minimal 64 Chevy Impala parts.
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#14 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:23 AM

Dang it. I didn't even think of doing this when I should have. Anyway, here's how it ended.

http://www.star-tele...spells-end.html

http://www.star-tele...ion-brings.html

http://www.dotphoto....t...6188966&T=1

#15 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 08:16 PM

I drove past the Pate (if we can still call it that) this afternoon. I was somewhat surprised to see the boat still there, more surprised that USAF still hasn't retrieved the C-119 and the CH-21.

#16 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:00 AM

Where did all those cars go?

#17 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:00 PM

Auctioned off.




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