If a trip through Route 66 involves looking at roadside attractions and “world’s largest” objects, then you could say the town of Vega, Texas is “on brand.” The Milburn-Price Culture Museum has been home to the World’s Largest Branding Iron since 2018
Even before the creation of Route 66, Vega had a long ranching history. The XIT Ranch was at one point the largest in the world, with three million acres of fenced-in land across the Texas Panhandle and 150,000 heads of cattle. The brand was designed by Abner “Ab” Blocker, who drew the brand with his boot in the dust when challenged to come up with a design that couldn’t be easily burned over.
In 2018, the Milburn-Price Culture Museum commissioned a 22-foot-long, 3,000-pound branding iron, emblazoned with the XIT brand, created by Greg Conn, the museum’s director. The goal of the iron is to tell the story of the Panhandle’s ranching heritage, while also convincing tourists traveling Route 66 to veer a block off course and spend some time in Vega. The rest of the museum has its own share of treasures, such as a Model T Ford, a working printing press from 1896, and a climbable ankylosaurus sculpture named Hank.
Know Before You Go
The Milburn-Price Culture Museum has free admission, and the branding iron is visible whether the museum is open or closed.