Chisholm Trail Events & Updates

Chisholm Trail 2017 Events & Updates

The Chisholm Trail is celebrating 150 years in 2017, which means Caldwell is right in the middle of the action!  In 1867, Jesse Chisholm blazed the trail to transport goods from his trading post near Oklahoma City to Wichita, Kansas.  The trail was expanded to Texas for the longhorns to be sold by rail at Abilene. Year by year, the rails were built further south, claiming cattle town status from Abilene to Newton to Wichita to Caldwell.  Caldwell was THE Border Queen trail town that ALL of the longhorns passed through. The Ghost Riders of the Chisholm Trail silhouettes south of town mark the trail as well as Chisholm Street, where the trail met the rail. Once we got our tracks in 1880, we resurrected the trail and became a true cattle town with over a million head of longhorns boarding our railroad!

Many plans are in play as well as many opportunities to get involved in bringing the local flavor our town provides through tourism and hospitality to visitors and locals alike.  A weekly update in the paper and our Chisholm Trail page will post volunteer opportunities and fundraisers. 

Caldwell will celebrate the 150th with three BIG events!

  1. Chisholm Trail Sesquicentennial: Driving the American West travelling exhibit May 4-Jun 27
  2. Chisholm Trail Festival May 5-7, 2017
  3. Cattle Drive from Pond Creek to Wichita Sept 12-23. In Caldwell Sept 16th

The travelling exhibit will be housed in our beautiful Opera House during our festival. The timing could not be more perfect! The exhibit was built by the Symphony in the Flint Hills and will travel the state. The Stock Exchange Bank will provide additional historical items to coincide with the show, as the bank was originated to broker the exchanges from stockmen and cattle buyers. This show will be a wonderful attraction for our town!

The annual Chisholm Trail Festival in May will be bigger this year due to the 150th anniversary of the trail. We will begin next week’s update with Chisholm Trail Fest activities, plans, and needs. For now… start growing your beards & staches and get or make 1880’s looking attire to wear around town.

The cattle drive, originally to coincide with our festival, was to be a full blown Texas to Abilene drive that is no longer going to happen.  We teamed up with our trail boss, Carmen Shultz of Medford, to help create a smaller, easier drive. The drive will begin in the Pond Creek/Jefferson area on Sept 12th and will commence in Caldwell on Sept 16th, coinciding with the anniversary of the Cherokee Outlet Land Run that lined up settlers in Caldwell for the run for free land in Oklahoma.  This event will include 80-100 cattle driven up Main Street, cow camp visitation nightly along the trail, and a musical performance by the legendary Sons of San Joaquin!  The trail will then continue following the original trail to Clearwater, Ks for a celebration Friday, Sept 22nd then on to south Wichita for a final end-of-trail shindig on Sept 23th with Red Steagall in concert!

Look for next week’s Chisholm Trail Events & Updates for more detailed information on the festival and fundraisers.