The Society is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1954, with
the goal "to preserve, restore and utilize our historical past." In 1955 the Society established a museum in the Riggs Hotel.
In addition to the hotel building, the Society owns the "Oldest House" in Fort Stockton (1859). Located at 400 South Nelson, the old adobe was the Sutler's store for the first fort established here, pre-Civil War Camp Stockton.
Historic Fort Stockton (1867-1886) is owned by the City of Fort Stockton and managed by the Society. The Visitor Center and museum are located on the east side of the parade ground in the Enlisted Men's Barracks One. The original 1867 Guard House, two reconstructed barracks and one original Officers Quarters are available for viewing. Admission fee payable at the Visitor Center.
The Annie Riggs Memorial Museum features displays
and exhibits depicting the heritage and development of Fort Stockton and surrounding areas in thirteen rooms and the hidden courtyard. The parlor, lobby, dining room and kitchen are filled with
old photographs, collectibles and furnishings.
One of the recreated hotel rooms contains an iron bed that Annie ordered from Sears and Roebuck for $6.75, and shows what a guest would have encountered in 1905. In the kitchen is the first electric stove in Fort Stockton, purchased by Annie in 1922. Other exhibit areas are dedicated to archaeology, geology, religion, ranching, Hispanic heritage, pioneers, and early businesses. In the courtyard sits an early 1900's buggy, and the East grounds offer a view of our native Texas garden.
One of our rooms showcases a desk that originally sat in the 1883 Pecos County courthouse and has quite a story surrounding it. Sheriff A.J. Royal was murdered while sitting at that desk in 1894, and his bloodstains remain in the drawer. Although no one was indicted for the crime it was a common belief that several prominent Fort Stockton businessmen drew straws to determine who would kill the controversial sheriff. Five Texas Rangers had been sent to town at the request of the citizens because of a volatile feuding atmosphere leading up to the 1894 election. Royal was not re-elected, and was killed two weeks later. Three of the Rangers were still here at the time. "Who killed Sheriff Royal?" remains one of the great mysteries of Pecos County.