Saturday, November 3

We Were There On the Chisholm Trail

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On our list of 'places to visit soon' is the Chisholm Trail Museum in Duncan, OK.  We're going to start studying it ahead of time, and are sharing the unit with you now, too!

The Chisholm Trail was a trail used in the post-Civil War era to drive cattle overland, from ranches in Texas to railroads in Kansas.  The portion of the trail marked by Jesse Chisholm went from his southern trading post, near the Red River, to his northern trading post near Kansas City, Kansas.

The trail was the route to take for moving livestock.  Although it was used only from 1867 to 1884, the longhorn cattle driven north along it provided a steady source of income that helped Texas recover from the Civil War.  At the time, cattle were only worth $2 / head in Texas, but upwards of $20 / head in the north.  Moving the cattle helped bring much-needed funds into the area. 

It would take as long as two months to travel from a ranch in Texas up to the railheads (where cattle were loaded onto trains and shipped to large cities). At approximately 1,000 miles long, it took about two months to drive a herd of 3,000 cattle north.  In spite of the costs for cowhands, the trail helped bring Texas out of the depression that followed the Civil War.

Chisholm Trail Resources:

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