The inspiration behind a plan to create a historical museum dedicated to the Big Piney River region will speak Friday in Houston.
Larry Dablemont, an outdoors writer who grew up in Houston, will talk at 6 p.m. at Savor Grill in Houston to describe his dream for Texas County.
“It will showcase the people of the Big Piney and the Ozarks and show how they lived,” said Dablemont, a Bolivar resident.
Dablemont worked as a naturalist early in his career, and part of his vision stems from his efforts to establish similar facilities elsewhere. He said a lot of the success behind other facilities is how exhibits are displayed. Along the way, he has collected a lifetime collection that he thinks will be of interest — everything from artifacts of early man along the Piney to two antique pool tables used at a downtown Houston billiards hall. A vast historical photo collection of the Ozarks would be displayed. An aquarium would showcase Piney River species.
Dablemont said last week he’s looking for about an acre site along U.S. 63 in the county that might take two to four years to develop. He’s secured cedar lumber for the project and native rock for use in the design, including a fireplace that he visualizes as a place to gather and play dominoes and checkers. Floors will be hardwood.
There will be no admission, he said, and it will help the area’s tourism.
“I want to make this something special,” Dablemont said.
Joining Dablemont at the meeting is Fred Hoppe of Lincoln, Neb., a renowned artist whose sculpting career spans more than 40 years. Hoppe’s work can be found across the country — ranging from wildlife art to sports figures and military (his web address is https://fredhoppesculpturestudio.com/).