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all-day Delayed Opening: Looking Through...
Delayed Opening: Looking Through...
Apr 2 – Jun 30 all-day
Delayed Opening: Looking Through Indian Eyes
This exhibit opening is delayed. *COVID19 pandemic “Looking Through Indian Eyes” will feature the art of Brent Learned, who is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. The show is April 2[...]

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Chisholm Trail 150



Cowboys at Heart band returns to entertain guests at National Day of the Cowboy celebration

Chisholm Trail Heritage Center gears up for its busiest day of the year

It’s the ninth year for the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center to offer its free National Day of the Cowboy celebration, Saturday, July 27. With funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council, the museum is able to provide live music and a children’s art project during this event. This day is also the busiest day of the year for the Heritage Center.

Designed as a fun celebration and a way to give back to the community, there’s no admission charge into the museum on the National Day of the Cowboy. Guests can choose to attend, morning, mid-day or afternoon and they will be able to enjoy everything planned. All the fun is indoors. The entire day of activities, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is for families and individual fun – no matter the age. Music, exhibits, a few surprises… Continue reading

Cotton Electric donation to benefit Heritage Center’s education department


Cotton Electric Charitable Foundation made a $500 donation to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, Monday, July 15, 2019. This grant will allow the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center to maintain and increase outreach to students in a 100-mile radius of the facility in Duncan.
Accepting the grant on behalf of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, are, from left, student Madisyn Lowry, educators Mary Lowry and Cindy Parks, Executive Director Stacy Moore, and Education Coordinator Leah Mulkey and board member Rick Duncan. Cotton Electric Staff Assistant Shane Bowers and CEO Jennifer Meason made the presentation. 
The Chisholm Trail Heritage Association is a 501c3 non-profit. Your contributions to our programs and exhibits are tax-deductible.
Consider the Center in your estate and planned giving allocations. Email: or call 580-252-6692.

Bison ranchers to share information at CTHC’s National Day of the Cowboy event

Baby bison rescued, now a part of Stepp family

It started with five cows and one bull in 1996. Now Sandy Springs Farm in Hinton, owned by James and Sandy Stepp have a viable Oklahoma business – all centered around the bison.

Called the Wichita Buffalo Company because many people still know the American bison as a buffalo, the Stepps are about raising quality bison meat on their farm. The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is one of its customers. The couple will be here on National Day of the Cowboy, Saturday, July 27, to talk about the benefits of bison products and what it’s meant to them to be bison ranchers.

Buffalo jerky is one of the products offered by the Stepps. They sell the meat to farmer’s markets, restaurants and health food stores.

“We made a living selling buffalo meat from that point (1996) until about a year ago.… Continue reading

Bison exhibit: A visual, interactive attraction

An 1878 book encased in acrylic shows a portrait illustration of an American Bison, another case features bison products such as jerky and socks, and bison toys and furs give children and adult guests a chance to touch and explore. Those are only a few of the many pieces in the exhibit, Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild., open through July 29.

Working together, dedicated board members and staff succeeded in opening the exhibit three days ahead of the official May 24 date.

“It is our largest exhibit to have here at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center,” said Executive Director Stacy Cramer Moore. “It comes from the Kaufmann Museum in Kansas and the National Buffalo Foundation.”

Did You Know?

The American bison has been here for at least 500,000 years. The largest, Bison latifrons, an Ice Age giant, stood more than 8 feet tall, with horns that spanned more than 7 feet.… Continue reading

Be the boss of your basket

Pauline Asbury

Pauline Asbury shows off one of her large handwoven baskets.

Award winning basket weaver to demonstrate at Duncan’s original National Day of the Cowboy Celebration


After 35 years of teaching sign language to deaf students in the public school system, Pauline Asbury knew two things – one was she needed something to fulfill her time after retirement, and two, it had to be something she could be good at and was passionate about doing.

An invitation from her cousin to attend a basket weaving class at the Kingfisher Museum was just what she needed. That was in 1999. She made a Cherokee double-walled basket.

Asbury will be one of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s featured demonstrators on its National Day of the Cowboy Celebration, Saturday, July 27. She will be doing basket weaving demonstrations and visiting with guests on the free admission day.

“The rest is history. I fell… Continue reading

Real Cowboys on the Chisholm Trail: Larkin Patrick Williams

Larkin Patrick Williams (1851-1930)

Larkin Patrick Williams (1851-1930) lived under a cottonwood tree in a dugout during the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive era.

Imagine living in a dugout under a cottonwood tree – for 10 years! Larkin Patrick Williams (1851-1930) did that in the 1860s and his sole job was to see that the Waggoner cattle didn’t slip into the herds of cattle crossing the Red River during the Chisholm Trail drives. Lark, a Texan, worked for the Waggoner Ranch at Doan’s Crossing, according to Doyle W. Williams of Fort Worth, Texas, who shared this story with us in 2015.

Doyle saw our request for the Real Cowboys exhibit in the Daily Ardmoreite. He had already published the story in a family history book, “My Father’s Branch: The Lineage, Lore, and Life of Larkin Eugene Williams.” Larkin was Doyle William’s great uncle on his father’s side.

“Lark” as he was called, was born in… Continue reading

Global journalist Kristi Eaton to visit Duncan’s original National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in July

Kristi Eaton makes friends around the world!

Kristi Eaton makes friends around the world!

Veteran journalist and published author Kristi Eaton has cartwheeled in China, stared down bison in South Dakota and was lost in Samoa. That’s how she grabs your attention – with tidbits of adventure.
Described by international organizations as a “global journalist” Eaton will be the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s featured author at Duncan’s original National Day of the Cowboy Celebration on Saturday, July 27.
Kristi Eaton with her book, The Main Streets of Oklahoma” will be at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Saturday, July 27, 2019.
Eaton’s first book, “The Main Streets of Oklahoma: Okie Stories from every County” published in 2014, was only possible by visiting at least one Main Street in each county in the state – including Duncan.
The idea resulted from her childhood – of weekend trips out of Tulsa with her parents to a small community… Continue reading

Musings from Cowboy Country

Author George Rhoades newest book, “Musings from Cowboy Country” is more than just a poetry book

george rhoades cowboy poetry-2017_9537web

Award winning author George Rhoades enjoying an evening of cowboy poetry at the Heritage Center in 2017. George also did a reading during the event from his book, “Along the Chisholm Trail” which is available in our gift shop and online gift shop, along with his other books.

George Rhoades has been writing professionally for a long time – yes, a really long time. With “Musings from Cowboy Country” – his third poetry book, Rhoades’ pens reflections that are more than just random thoughts.

Reading his newest book is like peeking into the journal of someone who has more stories to share than there are days to write them. Imbued with humor, some serious contemplations, Rhoades, already a seasoned award-winning writer, continues to produce work worth mentioning.

A favorite is “May of 1945” and… Continue reading

‘Real Cowboys on the Chisholm Trail’ exhibit retires

‘Real Cowboys’ exhibit retires

May 17, 2019

In January 2015, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center generated a call requesting stories and photos of “Real Cowboys on the Chisholm Trail.” That exhibit was scheduled to close at the end of 2018, but many visitors enjoyed reading the stories and looking at the photos. We finally retired the exhibit May 16, 2019, but, those stories and images will be permanently exhibited through our blog here on the website.

An advantage is we can now share the full stories that were edited for the physical display because of space. Edited versions of the stories and photos were displayed on the wall outside the Campfire Theater.

Bobby Brower Real Cowboy1-web

In this undated black and white photograph (maybe 1950s), Bobby Wayne Brower of Duncan, Oklahoma, is seen calf roping at a rodeo.

Real Cowboys came about when Don Brower visited us to share his story about his father,… Continue reading

Local photographer shares visual story of cowboy poet Jay Snider

April 2019  – We are seeking regional artists to continue this special spotlight.

Local photographer shares visual story of cowboy poet Jay Snider

dee dodson spotlight Jay Snider s2-1

DUNCAN, Okla. – Rancher and cowboy poet Jay Snider is featured in a trio of photographs on display until April 30 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in its Garis Gallery of the American West, in Duncan. The spotlight display opened in early March.

Images are by Stephens County photographer, Dee Dodson, who has embraced the cowboy way of life, capturing the personalities of ranchers, cowboy poets and rodeo competitors of all ages.

“Born and raised in Oklahoma, normal everyday life never interested me. I was always drawn to the cowboy way of life and all the work and pride it entails,” Dodson said.

Whether she’s shooting rodeo action, or getting to know her subjects by photographing them in their daily chores or activities, Dodson said… Continue reading