‘It’s time for someone else to enjoy it”: Eagle from the historic Cotton Palace in Waco goes up for sale

Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 9:44 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - UPDATE: On Monday Kevin Collins donated the golden eagle from the original Cotton Palace to the Taylor Museum of Waco & McLennan County History.

A golden eagle from the original Cotton Palace is on the market. The palace first opened in 1894 and once drew hundreds of thousands of people to Waco.

Each year in the fall a big festival was held at the Cotton Palace complete with a parade, music and a pageant.

Nowadays you won’t find much left of the original Cotton Palace besides a couple of chairs and a cape at the Taylor Museum of Waco & McLennan County History.

”They decided to build the Cotton Palace to make Waco the capital of the cotton industry,” executive director of the museum Helen Howell-Graves said.

But Waco resident Kevin Collins is now selling a golden eagle that one sat atop the historic 1894 building.

“I don’t know if it’s ever been painted, it’s always been that color since we’ve owned it,” Collins said.

He’s asking $1,500 for the artifact made of either copper or brass. He said his father first bought it at an estate sale about 10 or so years ago. When his father passed away a few years ago, Collins inherited it.

”When he bought the eagle he received a newspaper article dated 1959 talking about how Mr. Bailey purchased it because he was so excited about the Cotton Palace,” Collins said.

The original Cotton Palace was open for less than a year before it burned down in a fire in December 1894. Nearly 20 years later it was rebuilt and was in operation up until 1930.

”When it reopened they had the main building plus other exposition buildings,” Howell-Graves said. “It was like a regular fairground.”

Collins said he would like to see the artifact end up in a museum like the Taylor Museum of Waco & McLennan County History.

”I want other people to enjoy it, it’s kind of just been sitting in storage and nobody has been enjoying it,” Collins said. “It’s time for someone else or the public to enjoy it.”