The National Ranching Heritage Center museum and historical park is located on the campus of Texas Tech University. The following time line shows the major development of the historical park and museum building from inception to formal opening.
- 1966: The Texas Tech University administration asks a planning committee to investigate the feasibility of preserving evidence of ranching history, and committee members recommend a plan.
- 1968: The university designates a 12-acre portion of the museum site and requests the committee to proceed with building acquisition. Fund-raising efforts begin. Contributions total $57,505.
- 1969: The Ranch Headquarters Association (now Ranching Heritage Association), a non-profit educational corporation, organizes to assist in development. Major contributions total $29,276.
- 1970: The first structure, the Renderbrook-Spade Blacksmith Shop, is moved to the site. Major contributions total $56,083.
- 1971: The university provides initial grounds preparation, utilities, security fencing and partial staff operation. The Long S Whiteface Camp two-story dugout, the Box and Strip house, and the U Lazy S Carriage House are moved to the site, restored and dedicated. Major contributions total $68,884.
- 1972: Seven buildings and two windmills are moved and some restoration completed. Dedication ceremonies are held for the Renderbrook-Spade Blacksmith Shop, the Harrell House, the Matador Half Dugout and the JA Milk and Meat House. Major contributions total $32,224.
- 1973: Limited school and weekend tours begin by popular demand, and the Matador Office and the Bairfield Schoolhouse are dedicated. Major contributions total $151,086.
- 1974: The Picket and Sotol House, the Masterson JY Bunkhouse and Hedwig Hill Double Log Cabin are dedicated. Contributions total $287,229.
- 1975: El Capote Cabin is restored and dedicated, and the Barton House is moved and restoration begun. Ground is broken for the David M. DeVitt-Mallet Ranch Orientation Center (later the DeVitt-Mallet Museum Building). A Committee of ’76 is named to prepare for the formal opening July 2-5, 1976. Contributions total $634,307.
- 1976: Restoration completed for the Spur Granary, the Reynolds-Gentry Barn and Las Escarbadas. Exterior restoration completed for the Barton House. Orientation center completed along with the Campbell Patio, the Edith Whatley McKanna Parlor and Cogdell’s General Store (museum store). Site development and landscaping initial phases completed.