Scenic USA - Kansas

Old Cowtown Museum

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Old Cowtown Museum - Wichita, Kansas

Photos by Cliff Hamilton
Cliff's Old Cowtown Museum Collection

   Credited with saving Texas from economic ruin, the Blacksmith Shop - Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita, Kansas 1200 mile Chisholm Trail stretched across the prairie from Brownsville, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas. Named for Jesse Chisholm, the famed trail came about during the Civil War when Texas was cut off from northeastern cattle markets. It didn’t take long before the Texas prairie was overrun with more than five million head of cattle. Beginning in 1867, huge herds were pushed along the Chisholm Trail into Oklahoma Territory, where the grass and water were free. Stagecoach - Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita, Kansas Lingering for more than a month in Oklahoma, the cattle would gain weight before the final drive to the Kansas rails.
   Located along the famous Chisholm Trail, the Old Cow Town Museum in Wichita invites its guests to enjoy the sights and sounds of a thriving 1870s community. Period artifacts allow a firsthand look into the workings of a blacksmith shop, Carpenter's Shop, Marshal's Office, and a glimpse of the town’s founding father, Darius Munger's residence. There are 54 buildings at Cowtown on the banks of the Arkansas River, an assortment of original and recreated buildings which are open to visitors throughout the year. But visitors are cautioned to be prepared and take cover into the nearest doorway at the first sound of gunfire from the street.

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