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Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West

Chisholm TrailChisholm Trail: Driving the American West, 1867-2017

The Chisholm Trail fundamentally changed the American West, from the beginnings of the cattle industry to the birth of the American Cowboy.

Learn about the founding fathers, Jesse Chisholm and Joseph McCoy. Discover how the cowboy became a folk hero through stories, songs, and film clips. While we might not be able to pinpoint the trail's actual beginning and ending places, historic maps can illustrate how it changed and shifted over time.

Chisholm Trail

Explore cowboy songs like “The Old Chisholm Trail.” View clips from films such as The Old Chisholm Trail and Red River. See life-size longhorn cattle formed from blackened steel. Younger visitors can create their own brands with the “Brand Your Beeves” interactive station.

This traveling exhibit runs 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, July 26 - September 18,  in the State Archives Gallery at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka. It is a collaboration between Symphony in the Flint Hills and Flint Hills Design with major sponsorship from Lost Trail Soda and Federal Home Loan Bank in Topeka. Admission is free.

See more Chisholm Trail resources on Kansas Memory.