The Roy Rogers / Dale Evans museum is now closed. It was in operation from 1967 until 2009.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were singing, movie, and television icons during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. In the later part of the 1960s they opened a museum featuring mementos from their personal and professional lives.
Since that time the Roy Rogers / Dale Evans museum has had three locations, with the last location having been Branson, Missouri. Sadly for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans fans everywhere, their museum closed its doors for the final time on December 12, 2009. Below is a brief time-line of the museum and its locations.
- After purchasing and renovating an old bowling alley, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans first opened their museum in Apple Valley, California in 1967.
- In 1976 the museum was moved to a bigger building in nearby Victorville, California.
- In 2003 the museum was moved to Branson, Missouri.
- On December 12, 2009 the museum closed.
A Personal Museum
From the very beginning Roy Rogers wanted his and Dale’s museum to be an intimate experience for visitors, and they delighted in filling it with mementos of every kind from their personal and professional lives.
Before passing away in 1998, when the museum was still located in California, Roy loved to walk around it with Dale in the mornings before it opened to the public, enjoying the history of their lives. He also tried to visit the museum every morning after it opened to meet with and speak to his visiting fans. He took great care to always dress in his cowboy hat, cowboy boots, fancy shirt, and bandana because he knew his fans would be disappointed if they saw him any other way.
And Trigger, Too
Of all of the Roy Rogers / Dale Evans museum exhibits none was more famous than Trigger, Roy’s golden palomino stallion. When Trigger died in 1965 Roy had Bischoff’s Taxidermy, located at that time in Los Angeles, California, mount the horse over a plastic likeness of a rearing horse.
In addition to Trigger, Dale’s buckskin horse Buttermilk, Trigger Jr., and Bullet the Wonder Dog were all mounted after their deaths and were also on display at the museum.