International Ordnance Museum In Saint Jo, Texas--Worth The Trip!

April 28, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

The Redneck woke up this morning and said he wanted to go back to the International Ordnance Museum in Saint Jo, Texas. What else could I do but grab my camera and hop in the truck? Trust me, a trip there beats the heck out of yard work! Besides, I promised y'all photos the next time we went, and I couldn't let you down...(wink).

The museum is located at 201 South Main, in Saint Jo, Texas, about 25 miles north of Bowie. The building alone is awesome. The walls inside are exposed brick, very cool, and it sets off the ordnance displayed against it perfectly.

Just inside the door you see this, which is impressive, even before you learn it's history. It was mounted on the USS OLYMPIA, and used during the Spanish-American War. It was built in 1894. 

And that is just a tiny fraction of the historical information you will learn at the museum.

This gentleman is Danny Steadham, one of the people who operate the museum. He's very knowledgeable about all the displays, and is happy to answer any questions.

This sign explains that yes, all the displayed ordnance is real, and yes, it has all been altered to prevent it from being fired, nor can it be made to at any time in the future, All the shells are harmless also, made at the factory without any explosives. The museum is about teaching the history of ordnance, the technology used, and to honor the military who have used it.

Each display has identification, detailing the country of origin, era of use, year of production, and 
even some anecdotes about incidents that occurred during its use.

I confess, I have ALWAYS wanted a bazooka. All the war movies when I was growing up had a scene where the soldiers would fire one into the midst of the enemy, and it was so cool (yeah I was a weird little girl. I preferred GI Joe to Ken. Face it, Barbie could have done better.). I like how the one has BAZOOKA Bubble Gum on it. 

While I like all the different displays, the Japanese Mountain Guns are my favorite. There is almost a delicate beauty to the design, and when you realize what they had to work with, it makes them even more amazing. 

The Redneck looking at a self propelled field artillery piece. Actually I was looking at HIM! *AHEM*.

Obie liked the artillery shell, and no, he didn't convince me to buy it for his room! 

They also have several things for sale. I like to get the ammo boxes for storage. They're sort of like Tupperware for men. I want to get several of the spent artillery shells for decoration of the Redneck's man cave once I get it set up for him. I wonder if he would balk at flowers coming out of the tops....?

The Redneck and Danny talk about one of the displays.

Honestly, if I posted even a third of the photos I took, this blog entry would be six miles long. Danny told us there was even more ordnance coming for display, plus there will be static displays near the city park later. I will post more info on events at the museum as it comes available.

I recommend the International Ordnance Museum for everyone. If you have a homeschooling group studying history and manufacturing, mechanics and technology, it would be a fascinating trip. Interested in an older relative's military service? You can probably see the technology that was used.
And if you have any sense of patriotism at all--you GOTTA go see this place. 

They are in the process of putting up a website, and I will post that info when it's available. In the meantime you can contact the museum at 940-995-2084 for hours of operation and other information.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018



  1. I’ve never heard of this town or museum. We would like it.
    Husband was a Marine and I grew up in a small town with an ordnance plant on 1 end and a small Army depot on the other. I think for the first 35 years of my life, I heard ordnance almost daily.
    That’s funny about ammo boxes being like Tupperware. Yes, I think your husband would balk if they had flowers in them.

    1. When we lived in the mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma, we could hear the ordnance being detonated from the ammo dump over 50 miles away. It was faint, but we always knew when they were doing it. No flowers? Darn. ;)


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