Lee Liles loved horseshoeing tools.
There might not be a truer statement in the farrier world. Liles dedicated his life to preserving the history of farriery. Along the way, he was successful in amassing a collection of artifacts that’s simply overwhelming.
After the shock and grief had subsided from Liles’ passing, the future of his beloved National Museum Of Horseshoeing Tools And Hall Of Honor naturally became an industry concern. One month later, Liles’ family vowed to honor the wishes of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Famer and keep the museum open. Today, Samantha Liles Frank — Liles’ daughter — announced that steps are being taken to “secure the future of the museum.”
“We are seeking to relocate the museum in its entirety,” Frank told American Farriers Journal. “We are still looking for a location while also launching a capital campaign to assist and fund the move.”
The Liles family, who live on the same property as the museum at 7781 U.S. Hwy. 177 North in Sulphur, Okla., plans to move in early 2019, necessitating a new home for the museum.
“To ensure the future of the museum, the Museum of Horseshoeing Inc. was formed and has filed for 501(c)(3) non-profit status,” Frank says. “The newly formed board of directors is seeking a viable location for a non-profit museum, ideally located in Oklahoma City or the surrounding areas, and easily accessible to the broader public.”
Frank will be serving as the president of the board, while Castle Rock, Colo., farrier Terry Stever — a long-time friend of Liles — has been invited to join the board. Williamson Slack, a New York financial advisor is expected to be a member of the board, as well.
Moving the artifacts will be no easy feat, as visitors can attest. Board members and outside vendors estimate that moving, renovation and other expenses will reach $125,000. That will necessitate the aforementioned capital campaign. The goal is to raise that amount by the middle of 2019. All donations to the museum will be tax deductible.
“The board of directors is asking for donations from the horse, farrier and blacksmith communities, as well as the public,” Frank says. “Any contributions you can make will be crucial to preserving the history and culture showcased in the museum.”
The museum will post updates about the process, including the still-pending non-profit status, on the museum’s website at horseshoeingmuseum.com/future. Donations will also be accepted at that link, as well as cash, checks or through the @horseshoeing-museum Venmo account. Donations can be mailed to Museum of Horseshoeing Inc., 7781 U.S. Hwy. 177 North, Sulphur, OK 73086.