Near the end of the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm established a trading post at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers.
His trading trail into Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) became known as the Chisholm's Trail. Texans used the route to walk wild Texas Longhorns to the Kansas railheads.
Wichita was founded along the trail and near Chisholm's trading post in 1868. In 1873, the railroad reached Wichita, making it the newest railhead for the Texans. Over the next several years, Wild West legends such as Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson walked Wichita's streets.
Today, the Old Cowtown Museum is an authentic, 17-acre, open-air living history museum, which recreates city life in Wichita and Sedgwick County from 1865 to 1880. A unique, 13-site Western Heritage Tour is available.
Places to Visit
Old Cowtown Museum
1871 Sim Park Drive • (316) 264-6398 • www.oldcowtown.org
Old Cowtown Museum. Living history 17-acre site (1865-1880) with 26 historic buildings and costumed reenactors. Chuckwagon Café, town and farm.
Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum
204 South Main St. • (316) 265-9314 • www.wichitahistory.org
A museum of Wichita and Sedgwick County history located in Wichita’s 1892 City Hall. Hopalong Cassidy Museum opened in 2003.
Greater Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau
515 S. Main, Suite 115
Wichita, KS 67202
"3rd Least Expensive City to Visit" - AAA Survey (2008)