ROSENBERG, Texas- Larry Callies owns history with a collection of boots, buckles, stirrups, photos and more on display at the Black Cowboy Museum in Rosenberg.
“I just don’t like to lose my heritage,” he said. “I don’t like to lose things that we used to have. I brought a lot of stuff from me just picking stuff up.”
Years after the former rodeo roper turned country singer lost his voice, Callies stumbled into his past. Records from plantation days revealed connections between his slave ancestors and a white east Texas minister who had kids with slaves, uncovering hidden history became his passion.
“This is really interesting to me so I just kept getting historical stuff,” Callies said.
He got a lot of saddles from friends too including memorabilia from segregated rodeos in the ‘60’s. All of it inspired Callies to celebrate black bull riders and hall of fame cowboys whose little known stories he is determined to share.
“People think cowboys originated on TV,” Callies said. “They didn’t. They originated in the slaves. They had a house boy. They had a yard boy. They had somebody that worked the cows. He was called a cowboy. So the black cowboys were the first cowboys and they came from right here in Fort Bend County.”
The museum normally charges $6 for adults and $3 for children to enter. However, admission is free during February for Black History Month.