|On the approach to Caldwell from the South, these silhouettes were erected |
by volunteers in 1995.
|This arch overlooks the principal intersection of Main Street.|
|Caldwell's first Opera House was saved and restored by volunteers.|
|The scale model of early Caldwell that I researched and built is still displayed by the Border Queen Museum.|
|Historical markers have been placed all over downtown Caldwell. This one quotes me from a book I wrote, "Border Queen Caldwell: Toughest Town on the Chisholm Trail."|
But a farmers' quarantine law blocked the Chisholm Trail, even though business was too lucrative to abandon. So in 1880 railroad tracks were extended 49 miles southwest to Caldwell, then another three miles to the state line, where a large stockyard was erected. Texas steers entered the stockyard through gates in Oklahoma, before being driven onto cattle cars without violation of the quarantine law. Caldwell thus became the last railhead on the Chisholm Trail, until the penetration of Texas by railroads ended the famous Long Drives and closed the cattle trails.
|With fellow Texans, David and Rena French|
|On Friday night a "Ghost Walk" up and down Main Street attracted |
an unexpectedly large crowd.
The Caldwell Chisholm Trail Festival began on Friday, May 5, when area fourth-graders, along with early-bird tourists, toured the museums and exhibits and historic sites. The town's first opera house displayed a traveling exhibit, "Chisholm Trail Sesquicentennial: Driving the American West, 1867-2017." At the Border Queen Museum a Western art collection was exhibited, while upstairs a "Robbers Roost" displayed a bordello suite.
|With sporting lady|
|The original Boot Hill was north of town, and the few remaining markers were moved to Caldwell's permanent cemetery.|
Hundreds of people came to town for Saturday's activities, which included stagecoach rides around town, mechanical bull rides, calf roping, longhorn cattle, Chisholm Trail Arts and Crafts Show, a street shootout, a Beard and Mustache Contest, a Chuck Wagon Dinner, an Old West Poker Tourney at a local saloon, and a Saturday night street dance. On Sunday morning all local churches combined for a Cowboy Church Meeting, and later there were two quilt shows. There were other weekend activities, too numerous to mention. It was a splendid celebration, staged by a community of 1,100 people with a deep appreciation of the important and colorful place in history held by their town.
|Deputy Sherriff Cash Hollister was fatally wounded in a shoot-out with outlaws outside town.|
|An impressive G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) monument at the Caldwell Cemetery|
|I used a poster showing my great grandfather, Jess Standard, with a trail crew.|
|Caldwell Mayor Mark Arnold reading a proclamation on our flatbed stage|
(Karen Sturm is at left.)
The 150th birthday cake at a private lunch on
My great-grandfather, Jess Standard, trailed cattle from Lampasas County to Kansas during the 1870s and 1880s. At Caldwell during May 5-6-7 I paid tribute, as State Historian, to Jess and the hundreds of other Texas cowboys who drove cattle herds up the Chisholm Trail. And like the drovers of long ago, I had a grand time in the Border Queen.
|With Karen Sturm, the dynamic Boss Wrangler of the Caldwell celebration|
|With Jesse Chisholm, great-great-grandson and namesake of the pioneer who blazed the Chisholm Trail|
|Signing books for a long line at the Border Queen Museum|
|Sporting ladies at the entrance to the upstairs Bordello replica|
Sporting ladies in the Bordello parlor|