The Robert E. Howard House and Museum Needs Your Help Essay
The Robert E. Howard house and museum in Cross Plains, Texas is the single most important physical symbol of the man and his legacy that remains today — and it needs your help. This century-old structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is truly a place of great significance for American and indeed global cultural history. It was here, on an Underwood No. 5 manual typewriter, that worlds were born. It was here that new genres like sword and sorcery and the weird western came in to being.
It was here that Solomon Kane first set out on a quest for retribution and vengance. It was here that Kull first sat brooding on his antediluvian throne and where Bran Mak Morn first gazed out over fields of heather contemplating the doom of his people. And it was here that Conan the Cimmerian first strode forth to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.
Few fandom communities are fortunate enough to have an existing physical location, a physical structure, associated directly with the creation of the objects that fuel their passion.
Fewer still have a location that they can actually visit and see first hand — a building that they can walk through and experience the way that their icon did so long ago. We as Howard fans are truly blessed and fortunate to have this house still standing, still available as a mecca for us to visit, preserved like a shapsot of Bob Howard’s 1930s Texas.
But none of this is by accident. This house and museum only exist because of the hard work and efforts of the good people of Project Pride in Cross Plains. It was Project Pride who, in 1989, first bought the house and restored it to its original condition. It is Project Pride and its volunteers that have continued to maintain the house over the years, that provide docents to give tours, that arrange to have someone there to greet visitors throughout the year, and whose members go to great lengths to welcome hundreds of fans to their tiny community every year for Howard Days in June.
But Project Pride has very limited resources. They depend on us — the fans — to help them out when funds are needed for more than routine maintainance for the house. This is one of those times. The house is overdue for repair work to replace areas of wood rot. The rot was so bad that the window to Howard’s bedroom recently fell out and needs to be replaced. The entire house is in need of painting. These and other needed repairs are expenses that Project Pride cannot bear alone — so they need your help to preserve this historic treasure that means so much to all of us.
Rusty Burke once said that if every fan who ever enjoyed a Robert E. Howard story would just give one dollar, then there would never be a need to ask for money again. But as it is, we do have to ask. Every little bit helps. So please send a few dollars or whatever you can spare to Project Pride. They can be PayPaled directly at [email protected] or you can send a check or money order to:
P.O. Box 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443
Thank you so much to everyone who does their part to preserve this important monument to Robert E. Howard’s legacy.