We traveled the Great Plains of Kansas from Topeka to Wichita. In doing so we traveled part of the Chisholm Trail. The Chisholm Trail was a trail used in the post-Civil War era to drive cattle overland, from ranches in Texas to Kansas railheads. The portion of the trail used by Jesse Chisholm went from his southern trading post near the Red River, to his northern trading post near Kansas City, Kansas.
Wichita began as a trading post, on what is now known as the Chisholm Trail, in the 1860s and was incorporated in 1870. It is named for the Indian tribe that lived here (or I should say, use to live here). It subsequently became a destination for cattle drives north from Texas to railroads, earning it the nickname “Cowtown”.
Today’s Wichita is like any big city, so we went to a re-creation of Wichita as it existed in 1880-1886, when it was known as Cowtown.
It contained about 2 dozen buildings, including a barbershop
Saloon Hall with dancing girls
Schoolhouse, where we learned about the real Chisolhm Trail
And even a shootout
Technical Stuff: Paxico, Kansas to Wichita, Kansas: 165.2 miles
3 hours 20 minutes