Horseshoe museum debuts in Oklahoma

Josh Dulaney
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

A paradise for farriers opened on Oct. 19 in Stockyards City, Okla.

The Museum of Horseshoeing welcomed visitors from across the Sooner State, with plenty of history to behold, from hammer and hoof eveners to vintage horseshoe nails and a steel horseshoe forge.

And lots of horseshoes.

“We knew the Stockyards would be a great place,” said Samantha Liles Frank, president of the nonprofit that operates the museum. “We’re really excited to be in the area. We think it’s a great fit and we want people to learn how farriers and blacksmiths were integral in shaping America.”

Formerly known as the National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools and Hall of Honor, the collection belonged to Frank’s father, Lee Liles, and was located on his 300-acre property in Sulphur.

Liles collected horseshoes from around the world and dating back to the 1500s. He also owned about 600 anvils. Liles received visitors from as far away as Brazil and Germany. A Dutch farrier once mailed Liles one of his hammers after visiting the museum and seeing that the collection didn’t include one like his.

In 2004, Lee was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame.

“This area is the hoof print of the American horse,” Liles told The Oklahoman in 2005. “We probably have more horseshoers traveling up and down I-35 from here to Fort Worth than any other highway in the country.”

In May 2018, Liles died at the age of 68. His family formed a nonprofit and raised funds to move the museum to a more accessible part of the state.

“We had a lot of people reaching out saying they wanted to keep the collection together,” Frank said. “I agreed.”

The opening on Oct. 19 coincided with the annual Stockyards Stampede.

The new location is around 4,000 square feet and has been renovated to host school and group tours, as well as event rentals.

The museum plans to partner with local farrier organizations and schools to host events and clinics.

The layout guides visitors through the history of horseshoeing and its impact on American history.

Donations to the museum are tax deductible and corporate sponsorship of exhibits is available.

For more information about the museum, email info@horseshoeingmuseum.com.