Events & Tourism
The National Mule Memorial
The National Mule Memorial, was dedicated on July 3, 1965, with Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr being the keynote speaker. Fun Fact: The Mule, who goes by the name of "Old Pete", attended President George Bush's first inauguration in 2001. The Mule proudly stands off U.S. Hwy 84, at the north end of Main Street, next to the Hugh Earl Young Visitor's Center/Chamber of Commerce office. Old Pete is quite popular during the summer when travelors from across the nation stop to take a picture.
Why so much praise to a stubborn ol' mule?
- Mules plowed the first sod and ground the first meal for pioneers.
- Mules helped build the first railways westward.
- Mules hauled the first freight.
- Mules pulled the covered wagons west.
- Mules helped build the first highways.
- Mules, 5000 strong, fought and died in World War I.
- Mules can stand more heat, more cold & do more work, on less food and water than any other animal.
- Mules are smart animals. A mule will not founder by overeating – will not injure himself in a runaway – will not allow himself to be overworked.
History: V.H. Torrance, Austin historian and writer - noting the absence of the mule at a Ft. Worth Stock Show - became concerned over the rapid disappearance of the mule from the American scene. The late Dr. J.B. Barnett read the story, sent in a contribution, and a suggestion that a memorial to the mule be erected at Will Rogers Coliseum, Ft. Worth. George Dolan, a Ft. Worth columnist wrote of the movement to erect a mule memorial. Gil Lamb, owner of radio station KMUL in Muleshoe, and Carroll Pouncey the manager of the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce, wrote Dr. Barnett and Dolan, listing reasons why the memorial should be in Muleshoe. Mrs. Middlebrook’s 4th grade class also sent Dr. Barnett a contribution and a plea to have the memorial erected in Muleshoe. Dr. Barnett flew to Muleshoe and organized the National Mule Memorial Association in 1965. More than 700 contributors from the U.S. and abroad, joined the campaign. The sculptor was Kevin Wolf, and the memorial was created by Fiberglass Menagerie, Alpine, California. The model for the memorial was “Old Pete” an 18 year old, 1100 pound mule belonging to Dave Anders of Muleshoe.
Next time you're driving through Muleshoe, stop to say hi and take a picture with Old Pete!
Muleshoe Heritage Center
Experience all the traditions of the Panhandle-High Plains of Texas at the Muleshoe Heritage Center. Original buildings and homes that founded Muleshoe have been preserved to remind younger generations of the hardships endured while settling this part of the west. Here you will also find the World's Largest Mule Shoe - so large, a semi-truck could drive right through it!
Schedule a Tour Today!
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge
From Alaskan and Canadian breeding grounds, the refuge hosts one of the largest concentrations of sandhill cranes in North America! Established in 1935, the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge is the oldest in Texas. The refuge encompasses over 5,809 acres.
The number of cranes at the refuge peaks between December and Mid-February. Over 280 species comprise the refuge bird list. The largest variety of birds are seen during the spring and fall migrations. The weeded area adjacent to the campground provides a good birding site. At times Golden Eagles as well as an occasional Bald Eagle take up residence at the refuge. Great Horned Owls and Burrowing Owls can be seen year-round. Prairie dogs and prairie rattle-snakes, common to the area, are abundant in the draws northeast of the refuge headquarters. Other area mammals include porcupines, badgers, bobcats, and coyotes - most likely seen in the evening hours.
A visitor center, picnic area, camping area, and nature trail are provided for visitor enjoyment.
Open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday - Friday
For more information, please contact (806) 946-3341 or visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/muleshoe/