Imagine it’s the late 1800’s and you’re on an adventure of a lifetime. Although, the everyday life of a cowboy back then wasn’t nearly as glamorous as the movies make it out to be. You would have earned around $25 a month to endure rough conditions and long days on horseback – taking part in the largest man-made animal migration in history. There were over a million head of cattle heading north on The Chisholm Trail, making the iconic 800 mile-long trek from South Texas to Abilene, Kansas. Nowadays, it’s much easier to get around North Texas – especially with the new Chisholm Trail Parkway connecting parts of Fort Worth, but the history is still deeply rooted in our daily culture. Here’s where you can experience it on your next visit to Cowtown.
When it comes to honoring the historic event, Fort Worth does it in a big Texas way, every day. Seven days a week, twice a day, the most epic remembrance of the Chisholm Trail is recreated through the Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Nearly twenty longhorns parade through the Stockyards National Historic District. You can watch the steers pass by while standing on E. Exchange Avenue, just in front of the visitor center or on the lawn of the Livestock Exchange Building. After the drive, you can meet and greet with the drovers who are dressed in authentic gear and available for photos and questions. Take a look.
Located in downtown Fort Worth, the Sid Richardson Museum is one of Fort Worth’s greatest treasures of Western history. Their permanent collection of artwork features paintings from premiere Western artists like Fredric Remington and Charles M. Russell. Here, you can see a depiction of how life was in the wild, Wild West. Entry to the permanent collection is free.
Created to honor the men and women who made their mark in Western history, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame features over 100 inductees. Their ongoing Chisholm Trail Exhibit is a must-see on your next visit. While you’re there, be sure to check out the interactive and educational “Adventures of the Cowboy Trail” exhibit. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding about how drovers prepared for the trail, the reason behind branding and all about the famous Chuckwagon.
Located within the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in the Fort Worth Cultural District, the Cattle Raiser’s Museum offers a glimpse into the past where the cattle industry began and then boomed to big business. Visitors will not only learn about the development of the ranching culture, but will also journey through the stories and challenges Texas cattle raisers faced over the last 151 years through the interactive gallery. Adults and children alike will learn so much from this unique museum.
Featured imaged of Fort Worth Herd, courtesy of the Fort Worth CVB.