WICHITA, Kan. — The Chisholm Trail, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017, played a significant role in creating towns in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas after the Civil War. The cattle markets were in Kansas and so was the railroad, which shipped the beef back East. Beginning in 1867, vast herds of cattle were driven up to the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Wichita and other cowtowns of Kansas.
Many believe that without the cattle drive, Wichita, Kansas, might not have developed into the thriving city it is today. The trail is named after Jesse Chisholm, who had a trading post in Wichita and frequently traded with American Indian tribes throughout much of the region.
To acknowledge the legacy of the trail, Wichita, along with many other cities in Texas and Oklahoma, are holding events throughout the year. “With attractions like Old Cowtown Museum and the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum, there are opportunities year-round to take in the history of the Chisholm Trail,” said Susie Santo, president & CEO of Visit Wichita. “We’re thrilled that the 150th anniversary brings even more opportunities to learn about the trail and its significance to Wichita.”
Cowboy music, Chisholm Trail Camp-ins, book club readings, or even drinking a sarsaparilla with a cowboy in the saloon at Cowtown, are all ways you can celebrate the milestone in Wichita. In October, the Delano Fall Fair will honor the anniversary. The historic Delano District in Wichita is known for its history as a place where cowboys – after collecting their pay at the end of a cattle drive – could patron its many saloons. For a full listing of the many ways to experience “The Year of the Chisholm Trail” in Wichita, visit www.VisitWichita.com/chisholm-trail-150.
In addition to events, the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County have issued proclamations honoring the trail. To learn more about the history of the Chisholm Trail, read information from the Kansas Historical Society here or visit the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum and Old Cowtown Museum to experience the history come to life.