Friday, May 24, 2019

Haish family takes barbed wire journey

Last week, my father and I traveled to check out some barbed wire sites, and learn more about Jacob Haish, our distant barbed wire baron relative. Two Haishes, one fantastic road trip. 

We first ventured to La Crosse, KS, which bills itself as the "Barbed Wire Capital of the World." It seemed like a fitting title; my first drive through Kansas gave me the opportunity to see miles and miles of barbed wire stretching across the state. It was quite a sight for this Illinois girl.

The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum features displays of wire and fencing tools. It's also home to a research center and houses collections from the Antique Barbed Wire Society.
Jessi Haish LaRue at the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum
From there we traveled to McLean, TX, the home of the Devil's Rope Museum, which is billed as the largest collection of barbed wire and fencing tools in the world.

A member of the museum once invited me to visit the museum during their annual reunion and swap meet. That invite inspired this entire trip. During the show I met many interesting, important people from the barbed wire collecting world. This included people who have authored their own barbed wire identification books!
Kevin Haish at the Devil's Rope Museum in McLean, TX
McLean's museum features thousands of pieces of barbed wire memorabilia, and is also home to a Route 66 museum. I was incredibly moved by the friendliness and generosity of everyone I met during the McLean tour; the museum board presented us with this commemorative piece of art (seen below,) which was created by Delbert Trew, curator of the museum.
"Salute to Haish," created by Delbert Trew, of Texas
He explained the "Salute to Haish" piece as a way to recognize our trip to the museum, as well as all members of Jacob Haish's extended family. The wood base is from an antique wagon wheel from Trew's ranch, which represents the time period in which Haish was creating his wire. The bull represents the cattle that was fenced in with the wire, allowing the United States to expand across the West.

Thank you to both museums for their assistance with my research, and a HUGE thank you to everyone associated with the Devil's Rope Museum for their incredible hospitality and generosity. I can't wait to visit again someday.

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More posts on our finds within both museums will be coming up soon. I'm officially "hooked" on barbed wire.

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