Maybe it’s the fact that Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, but I’ve been feeling especially grateful lately to live in Texas and to have the opportunity to experience all of the amazing things this state has to offer. Besides being breathtakingly beautiful, with a wide variety of terrain to suit anyone’s preferences, The Lone Star State offers residents and visitors alike thriving metropolitan cities, unparalleled art and culture, quaint, rustic towns, and enough Wild West history to satisfy buffs like me who are fascinated by how our ancestors lived. That’s why on the weekend of November 17-19, you’ll find me at the 14th Annual Pioneer Days celebration at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum in Cleburne, about a 40 minute drive from Fort Worth.
The Chisholm Trail was a route cattle drovers’ used in the 19th century to transport cattle from ranches in Texas and Oklahoma to the rail heads in Kansas. The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum is situated on the trail and here, visitors learn all about the lives of the pioneers and Native Americans who lived on and near the trail. Visitors get to explore an original courthouse, a one room schoolhouse where “students” can sit at a desk and write on chalkboards, a Sheriff’s office, a working blacksmith shop, a stagecoach station, and so much more.
Also on site is the Big Bear Native American Museum, with a fascinating collection of Native American artifacts and exhibits documenting their arrival over 17,000 years ago to the present. (Please note that the Chisholm Trail Museum is free, but there is a fee to enter the Big Bear Native American Museum.) Make sure you don’t forget to mosey on over to the gift shop next to the jail for hand crafted jewelry, leather goods, artifacts, and other souvenirs to commemorate your visit.
This year, the Pioneer Days celebration will be a part of the Chisholm Trail’s 150th anniversary, an event celebrated across Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. There will be a civil war re-encampment, Native Americans in full regalia, cowboys, gunfights, arts and crafts and food vendors, and lots of Chisholm Trail history.
I hope you’ll join me at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum next weekend for their annual Pioneer Days celebration, a fun-filled and educational event good for the entire family.
Photos used with permission of the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum.