Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum may have been a little too touristy for some people with the shows and curio shop and movie set style buildings according to some other online reviews and comments from some locals, but the actual museum exhibits were very interesting and well done giving a good depiction of life on the plains in the Old West.
They show a little bit of the Hollywood’s version of the Old West that everyone knows and is familiar with to contrast with the actual Old West.
This room is just hilarious, I love it! Check out the arm rests on the couch and chair made to look like yokes and the coffee table.
For a little more authenticity theres this US Marshal’s office. Not quite as glamorous as the Tommy Lee Jones movies.
I used to think my office had too much stuff hanging on the walls, its actually quite spartan by comparison.
When talking about life on the plains we cannot forget the Native Americans who were here first. They had several rooms dedicated to Native pictures and artifacts from arrow heads to rifles. I was impressed, in many of these types of museums Indians are often overlooked or a footnote at best and here there was a big portion of the upstairs building dedicated to them. Do not miss this extra building up many stairs on the hill overlooking the place, we almost did. If it wasn’t for the painted footsteps leading the way up the hill that I just happened to see we would have missed it and never known.
I liked the decorated rifle the best, it had rawhide reinforcing over the wooden stock. I’ve not seen many examples of Native owned firearms with decorative nail patterns and such. Unfortunately those did not come out well.
Interesting seeing Plains Indian’s clothing and baskets, I am used to mainly seeing Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo stuff back home.
A Neat exhibit on the international influences on cowboy culture. Ranchhands and Cowboys were one of the countries first integrated jobs. African American, Anglo, Hispanic, race didn’t matter as long as you got the job done.
After seeing the kinds of cobblers, sweet breads, chicken fried steaks and such that people made with dutch ovens at a traditional cowboy chuck wagon cook-off back home I have gained a whole new respect for the Old West Cookies. A lot more to it than just whipping up a pot o beans.
Nice sample of branding irons and other cowboy tools. Theres not one in this picture but a running iron is a branding iron with just one bar that can be used to change existing brands into others, in some places simple possession of one was a hanging offense, yikes!
Back in the Old West, Dodge City was more than just cowboys, gamblers and outlaws and thousands of cows. Then just as now it also served as a hub for the surrounding farms and more agricultural communities as well.
I like these sod house homesteaders pictures, looks like some of my Great Grandmother.
In town away from the hard labor of farming or ranching the rich of the Victorian age led a much leisurely life.
Why am I thinking of Carol Burnett as Scarlett O’Hara?
Some photos of the more notable residents of the Dodge City of old.
There had been some debate whether Luke Short, #14, was one of our ancestors or not. I’d been told when I was younger and kept my hair short and was a wee bit thinner that I looked just like him. I want a cane and top hat like that.
A vintage restaurant menu, click for a bigger version I think you can also zoom in from Picasa if its still not legible. Porkchops with apple sauce and french fried potatoes for $1.40, wow thats some fancy stuff right there. Cant believe hamburgers at a nice restaurant back then were only 40 cents or veal was just 90 cents. Inflation sucks.
The Civil War era in Dodge City.
Of course the Rail Road was a big part of the cities history as well, they had quite a bit of old rail road artifacts, lanterns and pictures.
This picture looks eerily like one of my own, look on day 12.
One of the sad facts of the history of Dodge City was it was also a hub for the slaughter and massacre of thousands of buffalo. This guy is standing on a mountain of sculls to give some idea to the size of the carnage. I cant even picture that many animals in my head.