Sam Rayburn Museum, Bonham, Texas
The centerpiece of the Sam Rayburn Museum is a replica of the formal office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Once the museum opened in 1957, Sam Rayburn utilized the replica office as a meeting place whenever he was in Bonham between sessions of Congress. The room contains original furnishings from the Speaker’s office in the Capitol, including Rayburn’s personal desk, red leather furniture, and rug.
The room’s barrel-vaulted ceiling, hand decorated by Italian artisans, and its tile floor patterns are exact copies of the floor and ceiling in Rayburn’s capitol office. The fireplace immediately behind the desk was originally installed in the House of Representatives, where it remained for 92 years until its removal during the Capitol renovation project in the late 1940s. A massive crystal and silver chandelier dominates the room. Originally placed in the White House during the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, this chandelier and the others like it were removed on orders of President Theodore Roosevelt, who objected to the noise created when breezes stirred the hundreds of cut crystals. They were later distributed among the most important rooms in the Capitol.