STEPHENVILLE, Texas — An exhibit highlighting the history of “company towns” in the United States opens July 7 at Tarleton State University’s W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas.

 “A Land Apart: Exploring American Company Towns” will be presented in the museum’s Changing Exhibits Room through the end of the year.

 Historically, a company town was a place where a single corporate entity controlled the economic and social structure — a distinctive environment that shaped communities across the nation. 

 In a company town, virtually all stores and housing were owned by the one company that was also the main employer. Company towns often were planned with a suite of amenities such as houses of worship, schools, markets and recreation facilities.

 The W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas, a Tarleton museum and research facility in the historic ghost town of Thurber, is open by appointment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Take Exit 367 on Interstate 20 between Fort Worth and Abilene.

 For more information, visit or the museum’s Facebook page.

 Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.

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