Writing Tips        Vikings        Medieval History        Ancient Rome        Architecture        Old West        Travel        Vocabulary         

Western Travel - Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum (Part One) - Cleburne, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

This year, I was able to attend the 14th Annual Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum in Cleburne, Texas. The free event features costumed interpretive guides, the firing of the Civil War-style canons for a mock battle, crafts for children, honey tasting, a longhorn cattle drive, gunshot battles, antique and art vendors, food vendors, and much more. If you plan to head this way, I highly recommend you try to make it during this weekend (details for 2018 will soon be available on their website). There's also the Big Bear Native American Museum on site for an additional small fee.


The Chisholm Trail Museum is about two hours from Dallas in Cleburne, Texas off Highway 67. You can't miss the giant statue silhouette of a cattle drive. Once you turn inside, you can park in the grassy spots along the gravel drive outlined with small rocks and wander as you desire. The Civil War battlefield sits to the very left near the vendors, courthouse, and school house. To the right you'll find Native American-style tipis, cabins, a cemetery, a garden, and a mule barn. The Big Bear Native American Museum sits on the very right side of the complex and requires a small entry fee (their hours are dicey, so check the website below).

The museum is named after the infamous Chisholm Trail which ran north-south from Texas to Kansas. Cattle ranchers drove their herds of cattle up to the railroad stations in Kansas where they could fetch higher prices. It was formally established in 1867. Once the railroad reached into Texas, the invention and utilization of barbed wire (effectively keeping cattle off grazing land), and the citizens of Kansas towns no longer tolerating rowdy cowboys, the trail was no longer needed. The cattle drive took up to 2 months and the cowboys faced many obstacles along the way - angry farmers, alkaline or bad water, toll roads, rustlers, and stampedes (as cows were easily frightened and ornery). Today, special markers have been placed at key spots along the former trail.

The highlight of Pioneer Days (in my opinion anyway) is the re-enactment of Terry's Texas Rangers (8th Texas Confederate Army Cavalry) and the firing of the cannon on the battlefield every hour. It's really amazing watching all the very formal steps the soldiers would have taken to prime and prepare the cannon for firing. Seems like a lot for one single shot. And it's very loud.


Watch the video I took of one of the firings:

Learn more by checking out the office site - jcchisholmtrail.com

Chisholm Trail Museum Physical Address: 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne, Texas 76033-0771 Phone Number: 817-648-4633 Hours: Monday - Friday: Regular Hours (April-Dec) Thur/Fri/Sat 10am-5pm. Sunday 1pm -5pm and gate is open. **Daytime Walking Tours Permitted if Gate is Closed.

Photo Credit - Chisholm Trail Museum Signage - https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/02/cb/bc/1e/the-chisholm-trail-museum.jpg

No comments:

Post a Comment