Tales from the Trail:
20 Years in Words and Pictures
May 24 – July 5, 2018
20th Anniversary of the Heritage Center
A retrospective look at the early years of the Heritage Center, through the eyes of reporters, photographers, travel columnists, celebrities and community members.
Curated from the museum’s archives, this exhibit of framed newspaper articles, photographs and art, provides guests with a look at the beginning of the Heritage Center. It includes art contributions, writings by students and more. What began as a small visitor center in 1998, is now an international destination for travelers from around the world. On April 25, 1998, a grand celebration occurred when the On The Chisholm Trail Bronze Monument was unveiled. Attended by dignitaries, historians of the Chisholm Trail, celebrities and community members, it was an all-day party, concluding with a concert performance by Michael Martin Murphey, and a fireworks show.
Since that opening, the facility has had three expansions, earned multiple awards for tourism, history contributions and education, and is now an Oklahoma Outstanding Attraction and a Top Ten Western Museum in the United States.
“Tales from the Trail” will include a curated collection of newspaper clippings, original photographs, books about the Chisholm Trail, published student art and writings and more. There will also be a special working model train station exhibited in the center of the room, which will remain up throughout the entire summer, as the featured exhibit changes mid-summer. In April 1998, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center opened its doors and unveiled the highly-anticipated “On the Chisholm Trail Monument” created by Oklahoma sculptor Paul Moore over a two-year labor-intensive process. The opening was attended by dignitaries and hundreds of people and press from throughout the state.
“This exhibit will give many people a chance to relive memories, and for others, a chance to see history that they might not have experienced, or were too young to remember their involvement with the Heritage Center,” said Toni Hopper, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator, who is also curating the collections for the exhibit. “There are so many wonderful news articles and actual photographs that have been preserved over the years and now we get a chance to show them off in one exhibit. It is quite fascinating to look back and see how much has changed in 20 years.”
At the time, the bronze monument at nearly 35-feet long and 15-feet high, was the largest of its kind in a tribute to the Chisholm Trail. The statue, commissioned by Thomas McCasland Jr., and created and sculpted by Paul Moore, was named in 2014, as a “20 Objects that Shape Oklahoma” in “Oklahoma Magazine.” Additions in facility and exhibits have expanded what was once a small visitor center into an Oklahoma top attraction, and a top 10 western museum as designated twice by True West Magazine. It also earned a National Day of the Cowboy “Cowboy’s Keeper Award” in 2016. The Heritage Center is also known for its exclusive 4d Experience Theater, featuring the On the Chisholm Trail movie.
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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is a National Day of the Cowboy “Cowboy Keeper Award” winner, Oklahoma’s Outstanding Attraction (OTIA Redbud) and a True West Top Ten Western Museum.
For information, call 580-252-6692, or visit https://www.facebook.com/onthechisholmtrail/events