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Celebrating 150 Years of the Chisholm Trail: Texas Terminus & History

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The Chisholm Trail celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and as the most famous route for driving cattle in history (at least 27 movies have portrayed an imagined account of the first drive along its path), long outliving its usefulness, its ability to usher us into and out of an era in a heartbeat has held our curiosity and imaginations through to its sesquicentennial. In recognition of that illustrious milestone birthday, readers are invited to acknowledge the trail and all it stood for by paying homage at one of the many sites in Texas that bear its name or host parts of its history. The trail itself passes through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas,

The trail itself passes through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, along the way being recognized by historical markers as symbols of a time long since passed. Although it’s estimated that some five million head of cattle and one million mustangs have been driven up the trail, very little is known about the man for whom the trail was named, nor many of the men who worked it afterward. In the coming weeks, we’ll highlight some of the places recognizing both of their efforts, and the years of livestock driving that took place along the route as a result.

To this day, historical centers and sites in all three states (Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas) welcome visitors following along the trail on portions from Abilene, Kansas to South Texas, offering a glance into the past and into the lives of those that worked the trail. If you’re one of these adventurers in 2017, or subsequent years for that matter, here’s the first of our series on the Chisholm Trail and its Texas terminus and history.

Cuero, Texas: Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum

Celebrating 150 Years of the Chisholm Trail: Texas Terminus & History

Photo: Facebook/Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum

The mission of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero, Texas is connecting our present-day society with “the everyday lives of our pioneer ancestors,” while it “brings this era in American history vividly to life through interpretive exhibits, research, and educational programs.” The town considers itself the trail terminus in Texas, dating prior to town incorporation (1873), and from year to year continues to move more head of livestock than it has number of people. As such, the museum tells the Chisholm Trail story, including details of the American cowboy at the time and the great cattle drives they would have participated in, helping to preserve the town’s ranching and agricultural heritage as well as that of the areas surrounding DeWitt County, in and throughout South Texas.

Celebrating 150 Years of the Chisholm Trail: Texas Terminus & History

Photo: Facebook/Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum

Following a 14-year renovation and rehabilitation project totaling more than two million dollars, Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum opened its beautifully restored doors in November 2013, allowing visitors to view world-class, interpretive exhibits. Located at 302 North Esplanade, on Cuero’s main North-South thoroughfare, the museum is housed in the historic Knights of Pythias Hall, which was constructed in 1903 and has been designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. Museum events, hours of operation, and admission fees are identified on its website homepage, together with a welcoming message and Chairman’s Update recognizing the trail’s sesquicentennial. And now you and your family are invited to participate in one of its many events or simply visit the museum to take in the history of the Chisholm Trail and what it meant to Cuero and the Texas economy!

Sources:

Wikipedia

Chisholm Trail 150

Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum