The National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools and Hall of Honor will be opening its doors to its new location for the first time in October.
The museum will have a public viewing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at its new home in the Historic Stockyards City, 2200 SW 13th St. in Oklahoma City, Okla. The soft opening coincides with the Stockyards Stampede.
“Our family is incredibly excited for the museum to not only re-open but to expand into an important area of Oklahoma history and tourism,” says Samantha Liles Frank, daughter of the late Lee Liles, who was the museum’s founder and curator. “We are really thankful to everyone who has partnered with us thus far to help this happen. The opportunity to share the history of horseshoeing and the museum contents with a broader audience is truly what we think Lee would have wanted.”
Although the museum will officially open in November, Frank is hopeful that it will be available for tours on the weekend in the interim. The new space has been renovated with partners from Wiens Properties LLC, and features around 4,000 square feet of space. All of the content will be the same as the original museum, with some additional exhibits eventually being added. There also will be a gift shop and refreshments available. The space will be able to be rented for groups and events, and the museum hopes to host group and school tours.
“We are still in the process of working out the small logistical details, be we anticipate hiring staff to help the museum stay open during peak hours,” she says. “If anyone is interested in either hiring or volunteering opportunities, I encourage them to contact me.”
The museum was established after Liles exhibited his collection of blacksmithing tools during the bicentennial celebration. The response inspired the long-time farrier to preserve his trade’s heritage and create the museum. Liles, who was the official farrier for four world championship horse shows for three different breeds, was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2004. Liles passed away May 11, 2018, at the age of 68.
The museum has created a funding drive to support the move and ensure that these artifacts remain accessible. The museum is now a 501(c)(3) organization, making any financial support to the institution tax-deductible.