San Bernardino County Sun features editor John Weeks reports that the Roy Rogers Museum, less than six years after it picked up and moved from its longtime Route 66 home in Victorville, Calif., has shut down in Branson, Mo., and all of its memorabilia will be auctioned in the coming weeks.
What a shame. Victorville, in San Bernardino County’s High Desert, was the right home for it. It was an authentic Western setting for a Western-themed museum. It was right on old Route 66, an appropriately nostalgic location for an exhibit hall devoted to nostalgia.
Most importantly, it’s where Rogers and Evans built it, near their own home in Apple Valley. That’s the community they chose for their retirement, after their long careers as stars of hundreds of TV and movie Westerns during the ’40s and ’50s. That’s the community where they lived, where they died, and where they are buried.
If you’re a tad too young to know, Roy Rogers was known as the “King of the Cowboys,” and his wife, Dale Evans, was called “Queen of the West.” More about them can be read here.
Weeks is advocating that Southern California residents buy up as much Roy Rogers artifacts as possible and move them to one of the area museums, including the Route 66 museum in Victorville. “Sadly, we can’t get the whole museum back. But a few choice pieces of it might be nice,” Weeks writes.