Join us at the Heritage Center to experience the Chisholm Trail, a one thousand mile adventure. While here, you will practice roping a steer, feel the adrenaline rush of a stampede, and meet fascinating characters.
Restoration Work: Landscape Explorations | An Exhibit by Featured Artists Polly Thurston and Kelly Yarbrough
Join us January 4 - February 28, 2022, for a special exhibit by artists Polly Thurston and Kelly Yarbrough Help us welcome Polly Thurston and Kelly Yarbrough as featured artists at the Garis Gallery of The American West. Come meet and greet these artists as we...
T.H. McCasland, Jr. Experience Theater
Giddy-Up and Yee Haw! Experience the closest thing to a real stampede you will find anywhere, right from the comfort of your theater chair. From the smells of bacon frying and prairie grass to the final hoof beats, you are sure to enjoy this unique “experience.”
Folks, here’s your chance to sit around a campfire with none other than Jesse Chisholm. Eavesdrop on a campfire conversation with a weather-worn Jesse Chisholm – talkin’ trail history and the future with his acquaintance and first-time cowpoke, Tex.
Toss a rope around a Longhorn steer; ride a bucking bronco; create your own brand or even just sit a spell and watch someone else do those things. If you are not careful, you might just learn a thing or two about life on the trail while you do it. Some think our chuckwagon can be rude at times, but that may just be the beans talking.
Duncan General Store
Gather eggs from the chicken coop, but be careful, our shopkeeper has an “eye-on-those-crackers!”
A reproduction of the original structure built by Scotsman William Duncan in 1892, just east of what is present-day Duncan. The actual site can be viewed off current day Chestnut Street.
Life along the Trail
There were more critters along the Chisholm Trail than just the longhorns. Spend some time getting to know some of the big and small animals that cowboys and settlers saw during the time of the great cattle drives. While some animals are still common, like the playful prairie dog, some are not as common.
You will find something surprising in our collection of these animals, set in a natural environment. A touch-and-hear kiosk is available with animal sounds and touchable pelts. As always, be sure to keep your eye out for snakes.
Folks on the Trail
The history of the Chisholm Trail and southern Oklahoma is a tapestry of converging cultures in post-Civil War America. Not yet a State in the Union, Oklahoma Territory, and Indian Territory offered unique freedoms not found in other parts of the country. These opportunities led many frontiersmen and women to discover Oklahoma. Native American tribes were relocated to Oklahoma throughout the mid-1800s. At times, completely different cultures that had not lived in proximity were now neighbors. In other circumstances, old rivalries and affiliations reemerged in the new lands.
One of the most heroic Cavalry Regiments, the 10th with its band of Buffalo Soldiers, was stationed at nearby Ft. Sill to build the new fort and enforce the peace. The troops could be seen in the distance running drills or trading with the cattle companies coming up from Texas. Frontier towns sprung up along the trail. While the young men could certainly be rowdy, their money spent pretty ‘dern’ well. The balance between being an emerging family community and a place for the cowboys to drop their gold was a tricky one to manage.