Metal Detecting Museum in Cisco, texas
As appearing in The Gold Nugget, December 2003
By Dick Oakes

[Antique Metal detector]

[Lela Latch Memorial Museum - Photo Courtesy of Geneology Interest Group, Eastland County, Texas] Thanks to the dedication of a few local hobbyists from the Southwest Searchers Club in Eastland County, Texas, there is now a Metal Detecting Museum for the detectorists among us! It's official name is the Lela Latch Lloyd Memorial Museum and it is located at 116 W. 7th Street in Cisco, Texas. The library already contains a wealth of information for treasure research, including many old treasure magazines, and included on display are many metal detectors.

The museum is housed in what was a vacant two-story landmark courthouse and city hall building built in 1915. The rooms are already filled with displays arranged by category. One room is designated as the "official treasure room" in order to qualify for nonprofit status.

[Spider Rock drawing and artist Dr. Duane Hale - Photo Courtesy of Geneology Interest Group, Eastland County, Texas] The folks who have put in their volunteer time on this project are headed by Dr. Duane Hale, a Professor of History at Cisco Junior College, and SSC club members Jerry Eckhart and Keith Wills. Dr. Hale has reproduced the famous carved map rocks, also called "spider rocks," [Spider Rock]of central Texas and has accurately painted other treasure maps on the walls. Dr. Hale, a mixed-blood Creek by descent, has written nine books since 1984, including Researching and Writing Tribal Histories, published by the Michigan Indian Press. He also has finished a manuscript for a tribal history of the Chickasaw Nation.

The museum staff has plans to sponsor historical seminars and treasure hunting workshops in the newly decorated upstairs auditorium, which will hold about 150 people. Although they are very shorthanded, they want to try to keep the museum open at least on weekends for the general public. If you are in Cisco when the museum is not open and cannot locate Jerry or another SSC club member, the Cisco Chamber of Commerce has the key to the museum.

Unfortunately, the cost just to keep the museum running is in excess of $100 per month, funds that are in very short supply. Because of this, Jerry is asking for contributions in any dollar amount that you can send at this time. Also, the museum welcomes items to put in their research collection, to put on display, and that they might be able to sell to visitors to raise additional moneys.

If you can help, or just want to send a word of encouragement, contact

Lela Latch Lloyd Memorial Museum
c/o Jerry Eckhart
704 Ave. I, Cisco, TX 76437-3055
(254) 442-4210

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