Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive
Experience the world’s only twice daily cattle drive as Fort Worth’s herd of Texas Longhorn steers are driven down the bricks of historic Exchange Avenue in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. The Herd is driven by authentic cowboys and cowgirls in period clothing from the era of 1865.
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The Fort Worth Stock Yards, officially incorporated in 1893, swiftly became the epicenter of the largest livestock market in Texas, grew to be the biggest market south of Kansas City, and finally ranked among the top five nationwide for five decades. Serving as supply depot for the Chisholm Trail, the major route out of Texas for livestock, started Fort Worth on its path to Cowtown capital. But it was the arrival of the railroad and the ambition of its business leaders that drove the city’s success. Recognizing the potential, local businessmen began expanding the stockyard facilities beyond its feedlots. Diversification in Fort Worth’s livestock industry included railroad cattle terminals, meatpacking plants, grain elevators for feed, livestock-pharmaceutical manufacturers, a horse, mule, and hog market, and its expansion into sheep soon turned it into the largest sheep market in the nation. A permanent change in the nature of the livestock industry and its decentralization wouldn’t begin until the middle of the 20th century, allowing the Fort Worth Stockyards to hold on until 1992, when the market finally closed after its final livestock auction. However, rather than allowing the enterprise to go the way of other abandoned stockyards in the state, Fort Worth business leaders once again saw opportunity for growth and today a Stockyards National Historic District, with its restored mercantile buildings and network of corrals and feedlots, preserves the city’s grand past. The District covers fifteen square blocks where entertainment, restaurants, shops, a daily cattle drive, and rodeos all drive a visitor experience worthy of Texas’ Cowtown Capital.
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Store proprietor Allen Wooten has been collecting instruments and country music memorabilia for over 10 years. Much of his instrument collection is for sale. Every Thursday evening, he hosts an acoustic session in his Cowboy Opry venue, along with something to eat if you’re hungry. It’s kind of like the Bluebird Café of Southern Oklahoma. There’s plenty of stories, music and things to see and share at this little store which sits at the intersection of US Highway 81 and Oak Main in Comanche. He also offers music lessons for those who want to learn a lil’ pickin’.
Ryan Drugstore was established in 1924 and continues to serve residents of this small farming community, population 816 in the 2010 census. In the back of the drugstore, there is an old fashioned Coca-Cola display that is an attraction. Outside, a window display features old pharmacy bottles from the days of the Indian Territory. To get there, go south on US 81 from Waurika, 11 miles. At the intersection of the town, you will see the welcome sign, proclaiming Gateway to the Chisholm Trail. Turn right, or go west and the drugstore is in the middle of the block.
The gift shop at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center has a variety of souvenir items for all ages. Postcards, T-shirts, mugs, novelty items like keychains and hat pins. A growing selection of books include regional, cowboy poetry, Chisholm Trail history, cookbooks, Oklahoma history and children’s books. Our candy selection features Bedre’ chocolates, and western-style snacks, like Cow Tales, Beef Jerky, wax mustache lips, and scorpion suckers, to name a few. Other unique items are DVDs about life on the Chisholm Trail. New items are added constantly to reflect the growing interest in the history of the old west, Native American cultures and Oklahoma.