Western Trips

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fossils of the Hagerman Horse / An Idaho Adventure

 Horses From Spain

When we talk about the horse in North America we think about the Spaniards who first brought their horses from Europe to New Spain. This occurred circa 1519.

hagerman horse image
Drawing on left is the Hagerman horse
The Spanish offered many wonderful things that Native Americans found useful and beautiful. These included iron for tools, weapons, glass beads, mass produced pottery. The most life changing possession for the Indian was the horse. Before horses, dogs were the only pack animals on the plains. The harnesses and equipment originally designed for dogs were easily redesigned for horses. Horses of course could carry much larger loads than a dog.

Horses in North America Prior to the Spaniards

Soon after they discovered America, the Spanish reintroduced horses to the continent. The Spanish horses were from the finest strains and were regarded as the top breed in Europe. They were also prized by North American plains Indians. Stallions and mares that escaped from the Spanish were what formed the nucleus of the great herds of wild horses that spread upward from Mexico, into Texas and northward into the western Plains country. These herds of wild horses were generally referred to as Mustangs.These were the horses captured by the Native Americans that changed their daily lives.

snake river idaho
Snake River at Twin Falls
The Hagerman  / The First North American Horse

Interestingly enough there was another breed of horse on the North American continent  which became extinct between 13,000‐11,000 years ago.

Most believe that the ancient North American horses became extinct during the Paleo Indian period. This was perhaps 10,000 years ago. These early horse species were decimated by climatic changes and eventually vanished completely from North America. At about the same time in Europe and north Africa, horses were becoming common in many ancient civilizations.

Around 3,000 years ago, horses were domesticated in Europe for the first time. Just like the Spanish horses that arrived in North America centuries later they were used for transportation for humans and cargo. About five hundred years after that, Persian officials began using mounted couriers to convey messages back and forth.

The Hagerman Horse, Idaho’s state fossil, was the first true horse on the North American continent.  The Hagerman horse fossil was designated the official state fossil of Idaho in 1988. This horse was about the size of a modern Arabian horse but it's bones most closely resembled those of the Grevy’s zebra. Over two hundred individual fossils of both sexes and all ages were recovered by the Smithsonian. Included are complete skeletons as well as skulls, jaws and detached bones.

hagerman horse exhibit
Hagerman Horse Exhibit
A Great Idaho Fossil Discovery

The discovery of this magnificent fossil bed goes back to 1928 when a local cattle rancher was digging on a  bluff in the Hagerman Valley and discovered fossilized bones. Curious of his find, the rancher took a few of the horse like bones to a local scientist who after examining them passed them on to the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian was aware they were on to something and organized an expedition to the Idaho site. The Smithsonian expedition  ended up recovering over three tons of fossils including five full horse skeletons. Several times the Smithsonian returned to the site that became known as the "horse quarry".The Hagerman horse is one of the oldest horse fossils ever discovered.

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is located in South Central Idaho northwest of Twin Falls. contains the largest concentration of Hagerman Horse fossils in North America. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is home to over two hundred different species of fossil plants and animals.

hagerman fossil beds
The Snake River in the National Monument
There's plenty to explore at this National Monument and if your travels take you to Idaho it makes a perfect addition to your western vacation planner. When you visit the Hagerman Fossil Beds be sure to explore it's unique Visitor Center. This is located in the town of Hagerman Idaho on Rt. 30 across from the high school. Enjoy an informational DVD, dig like a paleontologist, examine fossil replicas, and marvel at their fossil displays.

This Idaho National Monument also includes a portion of the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail crosses the southern portion of Hagerman Fossil Beds. Ruts for the trail can be seen at the Oregon Trail Overlook parking lot. The Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument has the distinction of being one of only four units in the National Park system that contains parts of the Oregon National Historic Trail.

See the Western Trips articles on the links below...

Travel Idaho's Sawtooth Scenic Byway

The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and the Nez Perce War

A few excellent books regarding the Hagerman horse and wild horses of North America includes Equus evolves: The Story of the Hagerman Horse by author Mark Cohen and Into the Wind: Wild Horses of North America by author Jay F. Kirkpatrick.

boise idaho state capitol
Boise Idaho State Capitol

Your Idaho Vacation

The state of Idaho encompasses is on the western side of the continental divide. The landscape of the state is dominated by mountains and farmland. People have said that if you flatten all the mountains in Idaho, the state would be the size of Texas.

Boise is the largest city in Idaho and is the state capital.  Any part of Idaho that your western trip takes you you’ll find spectacular scenery and plenty of fun and historic sites to visit. The Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument located about a one hour and forty five minute drive southwest of Boise Idaho and about a fifty minute drive northwest of Twin Falls Idaho.

(Article copyright 2014 Western Trips. Photos and images in the public domain)


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Driving California Route 49

 Explore Gold Rush History Along California's Highway 49

California’s Gold Country is famous for making some 1849 miners very rich. Travel on California Route 49 offers one of the most scenic and historic drives you'll find in California.

nevada city california hotels
National Hotel, Nevada City CA
In the spring the Sierra Nevada foothills shine with a different kind of wealth that isn't necessarily gold. Colorful wildflowers pop into brilliant bloom and the the sun warms newly green hillsides. A drive along the winding and beautiful Highway 49 shows you first hand the history of the California Gold Rush.   All along this historic highway are historic plaques. While you'll enjoy the historic sites along the way you'll also explore nineteenth-century towns that today offer cutting-edge restaurants and nearby wineries.

From north to south, California Highway 49 winds for over 300 miles and offers the northern California tourist one of the most spectacular and unique scenic drives in all of the west. Below are a list of towns that you'll pass through on California Route 49. These are stops you'll be glad to add to your California trip planner. 

The towns and sites detailed below follow CA State Rte 49 from north to south.

Nevada City

Nevada City is among the most interesting of California Gold Rush towns. Visitors from all over the world have traveled to Nevada City. This is a town where the entire downtown district is a National Historic Landmark. Aside from the many historic landmarks that take you back to the Gold Rush days you'll find unique restaurants, comfortable lodgings and fine shops, boutiques, galleries and museums that are all there for your explorations.

old nevada theater
Old Nevada Theater Building, Nevada City CA
Nevada City borders the Tahoe National Forest and located nearby to many Sierra lakes and rivers. The town of Nevada City itself is ringed by deep green pine covered hills.

Today, the town has a population is just 2,800 but that is quite different than the years of the great Gold Rush. In 1850, there were 10,000 people living there. During the election of 1856 the 2,082 ballots from Nevada City were exceeded in California by only Sacramento and San Francisco.

When you visit Nevada City make sure to explore the famous National Hotel and the1861 Firehouse Number 1 Museum.

Grass Valley

The famous mining district of Grass Valley is located  in western Nevada County California. The Nevada City district adjoins it on the northeast and the Rough-and-Ready district is to the west.

Placer gold was first found in Wolf Creek in 1848 not long after shortly after Marshall's discovery at Coloma. The earliest mining was done by David Stump and two others who arrived from Oregon. The shallow placers were rich but were mined fast.

historic grass valley ca
Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley CA
Gold-bearing quartz was discovered at Gold Hill in 1850 and soon afterward at Ophir, Rich, and Massachusetts Hills. Quartz mining soon developed into a major industry that extended for another 100 years. The Gold Hill and Allison Ranch were the leading lode mines during the 1850s. Mining here was decreased to a degree during the Virginia City Nevada Comstock Rush of 1859-65, but the Grass Valley mines were again busy in the late 1860s. The Grass Valley camp declined in the 1870s, and by 1880 the only mines that were active were the Empire and Idaho.

In 1884 the North Star mine was reopened and activities increased; the North Star, Empire, Idaho-Maryland, Pennsylvania, and W.Y.O.D. all were highly productive. The Idaho-Maryland mine had yielded a total of $12.5 million. From 1900 to 1925, the North Star and Empire mines were the largest producers, the Idaho-Maryland having been idle during the first two decades of the twentieth century. By 1928, the North Star had had a total output valued at $33 million.

In Grass Valley you'll want to be sure to explore the historic Holbrooke Hotel. The hotel was first built in 1852 and completely renovated in 1862 after a fire at the then Exchange Hotel. The Holbrooke took it's current name in 1879 and claims to be the oldest continuously operated hotel in California's gold country.

See the Western Trips articles on the links below...

A Visit to Nevada City California

A Visit to Grass Valley California

Virginia City Nevada and the Comstock Lode

Drive the 13 Mile Long Route 66 in Kansas

auburn ca history
Old Auburn Hook and Ladder No. 2 Firehouse

Auburn California is located where CA State Hwy 49 meets Interstate 80. This of course makes Auburn very accessible from the Sacramento area. Auburn is located in Placer County which took it's name from the early placer mining of the late 1840's. Placer is the Spanish word surface mining.

The first name for this mining settlement was called “North Fork Dry Diggings". The name was changed to Auburn in 1849 and Placer County was created in 1851 just after California statehood.

With the American River Canyon at its border, Auburn sits nestled in the foothills of the Sierra at elevations that range between 1,000 and 1,400 feet.

The Historic Placer County Courthouse is easily seen traveling either east or west along Interstate 80. The courthouse is located right next to the Historic Old Town. The old Hook and Ladder No. 2 Firehouse is located within this historic district. A free guided tour of Old Town Auburn begins at the Placer County Courthouse at 101 Maple Street every Saturday at 10 am. For more information call (530) 889-6500.

Being situated in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the temperatures offer opportunities for colorful, scenic views during seasonal changes each year.

angels camp hotel
Old Angels Hotel
Angels Camp 

The town of Angels Camp was named after Henry Angel in 1848  who was the town's first store keeper.

During the year 1849, nearly 4,000 miners camped in the one mile area from Angels Creek to Utica Park.

The cry of "gold" of course brought the miners but as with some other areas the placer gold was worked out in just a few years. The story after that is that a man by the name of  Bennegar Rasberry had his  muzzle loader rifle jam. Rasberrythen fired the rifle into the ground where the ramrod split a stone to reveal the glittering gold inside. This reportedly was the beginning of Quartz Mining in Angels Camp.

As mentioned above, easy to find placer gold brought prosperity to many gold rush camps. In and around Angels Camp placer gold was found in China Gulch, Six Mile Creek, Cherokee Creek, Greenhorn Creek.  Angels Camp became a trading center for the neighboring mines. Angels Camp had a population of over 300 by the spring of 1849.

Angels Camp mining continued for a great while however all the mines in the town closed during World War I and were never to reopen. In addition to the Angels Camp Museum you'll want to stop at the Angels Hotel. The Angels Hotel was constructed with one story in 1852 and a second story was added in 1857. This is the historic hotel where Mark Twain reportedly heard a story that he later turned into the famous The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.If you have the opportunity of visiting the Angels Camp area during May you'll want to consider attending the world-renowned Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee. The Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee is held each year during the third weekend in May. This “County Fair” features exhibits, entertainment, rodeo, horse events, livestock exhibits and a carnival.

california state route 49
CA State Route 49 along the American River

Sonora California is called the "Queen of the Southern Mines".

Many of the first miners to reach California's Tuolumne County were discharged Mexican War veterans and miners from the state of Sonora, Mexico known as Sonoranians. During 1848 there weren't yet the multitude of gold seekers and the relatively easy placer gold was quite abundant.

Animosity between Americans and Spanish speaking gold  miners increased at the end of the Mexican War. This was a period when Americans considered California their territory giving them the right to grab its riches.  As more miners came to the area the Mexican Sonoranians were forced from their diggings and moved along the gold laden creeks.

On March 17, 1849, Sonoranians vacated their camp and moved to a new camp on Wood’s Creek. Today this is the site of Sonora High School. When the Americans realized the Sonoranians had moved to a new camp, they began to follow and prospect for gold nearby.  In the area of today’s Coffill Park, Americans found rich diggings.  The camp was engulfed by Sonoranians and others and became known as Sonoranian Camp.  Later this settlement took on the name of Sonora.  The old Indian trail which extended from the Wood’s Creek diggings down to the American diggings later became today’s Washington Street.  This was the center of commerce for the miners and later for the City of Sonora.

Among the sites in Sonora to add to your trip planner is the Sonora Inn at 160 S. Washington Street. Built in 1895 the hotel was first named the Hotel Victoria. Add to that the Tuolumne County Museum at 58 W. Bradford Street and the Railtown 1897 Historic Park located just about five miles south of Sonora along California Hwy 49 in Jamestown.

main street jackson california
Main Street, Jackson CA

The Kennedy Gold Mine is named for Andrew Kennedy, an Irish immigrant, who reportedly discovered a quartz outcropping in the late 1850's near what is now Highway 49.  The Kennedy Mining Company was formed in 1860 when he and three partners began digging shafts near today's mine property entrance. 

Today visitors can walk up the well marked trails to get a good look at the huge tailing wheels erected in 1913 that carried vast amounts of gravels up and over the hills into a settling pond. Only two of the original wheels are still standing, one on each side of Jackson Gate Road.  The others lie in ruins, victims of the elements and age. Picnic areas and restrooms are available. 

The Kennedy Mine operated on and off until it finally closed in 1878.  Eight years later in 1886 fifteen people invested $97,600 to reopen the mine under the corporate entity of the Kennedy Mining and Milling Company. In 1898 the company began sinking a new shaft 1950 feet east of the original shafts.  This East Shaft would eventually reach a vertical depth of 5912 feet, the deepest vertical depth gold mine in North America at the time.  In 1928 a surface fire burned all the structures except the Mine Office and the Stamp Mill.  All other buildings and foundations were built after 1928.  The company operated the mine until 1942 when the U.S. Government closed gold mines because of the war effort.

jackson california travel
Historic Firehouse, Jackson CA
 In addition to a short hike to the old Kennedy Mine you'll want to explore historic Court Street in Jackson with it's historic churches and courthouse.

Also consider making a stop at the Amador County Museum located at  225 Church Street. See their Gold History exhibit and their Native American and Chinese American exhibits. The Amador County Museum was built as a home in 1859 by Armstead C. Brown, one of Jackson's earliest settlers.

Driving State Route 49 through the old California Gold Country offers the traveler great photo opportunities, historic state and national landmarks, unique historic hotels and B & B's and a wide array of specialty shops. Whether your Ca Rte 49 vacation includes the entire route or just a portion of it you're certain have a scenic and fun western trip.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Western Trips. Angels Camp, American River and Jackson photos in the public domain)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fort Bowie Arizona and The Battle of Apache Pass

A visit to the Fort Bowie National Historic Site takes you back to the period when the U.S. Military fought a decades long war against the Chiriicahua Apaches.

Fort Bowie was the center of actions by the U.S. Army against the Chiricahua Apaches for twenty years. The fort was first established in 1862 by the California Column of Volunteers on its way to New Mexico during the American Civil War. 

apache pass arizona
Apache Pass
The site of the fort was at one time a stagecoach station along the Overland Mail route. The Overland stage station at Apache Springs was also the site in 1861 of a confrontation between Apache leader Cochise and a Lt. George Bascom. This encounter would be the trigger for an Apache War that would not officially end until the surrender of Geronimo in 1886.

After Geronimo's surrender the fort was no longer necessary and was abandoned in 1894. You'll find that many of the old west frontier forts were closed beginning in the late 1880's.

Hiking to the Fort Bowie Ruins

Today, hikers can take a trail that leads to the site of the fort ruins. Your hike will also take you to the ruins of the old Butterfield stagecoach station. These are two key sites to visit regarding the historic Butterfield cross country route and the Apache War. The westbound Butterfield stages in this region went to San Simon, Apache Pass, Ewell Springs and Dragoon Springs. From there it was to Benson Arizona, Tucson and to Yuma on the Colorado River. Apache Pass was considered the most vulnerable spot along the 2,900 plus miles of the Butterfield route.

confederate tucson
Confederate flag raising at Tucson
The Fort Bowie Historic Site is open all year except on Christmas Day. The site is very popular with tourists despite its remote location. Some of the markers along the trail included the names of local plant life, an Apache campsite and the Fort Bowie graveyard. Inside the Visitors Center you'll find photos, plenty of artifacts as well as old military uniforms. The Fort Bowie Historic Site and the hiking trail to the Fort ruins make a fine family vacation stop.

To arrive at the hiking trail head take Highway 186 south from Willcox Arizona for about twenty-two miles  to Apache Pass Road. Follow Apache Pass Road for about eight miles until you get to the parking lot. The hiking trail is three miles long round trip.

See our Western Trips articles on the links below...

The Battle of Picacho Pass

Fort Apache National Historic Site

A Visit to Willcox Arizona

fort bowie arizona ruins
Ruins of Fort Bowie
The Battle of Apache Pass

The California Column of Volunteers started out from southern California in 1861 for two purposes. They were to take back what was then called Confederate Arizona and then head eastward to reinforce Union troops in present day New Mexico. 

At that time the Territory of New Mexico was what today are the present states of New Mexico and Arizona. The Confederate forces, most of which were from Texas, took control of the southern sections of both present day states. Tucson was it's western capital and this was another target of the California Column of Volunteers led by General James Henry Carleton.

The California Column of Volunteers traveled through southern Arizona like everyone did. They traveled from spring to spring. Water availability was essential and there just happened to be a well known spring near Apache Pass. 

general james henry carleton
Gen. James Henry Carleton
While the California Volunteers were sent to fight the Confederates, the Battle of Apache Pass was a battle against the Apache tribes. The troops under General Carleton were not on the trail of Apaches but were merely traveling eastward toward New Mexico on their campaign against the rebels. The battle was an offshoot of the bloody war which began in earnest a year earlier by Cochise. 

The battle of Apache Pass took place July 15-16, 1862.  This battle led directly to the erecting pf Fort Bowie which began near the end of July. 

Cochise kept small bands of warriors on horseback all throughout Apacheland. Indian smoke signals or lights seen mountain to mountain would often send forth two or three Apache groups against a moving column of soldiers. Typically, the Apaches avoided a head to head battle but rather would leave their horses behind and place the,selves behind rocks along the trail ready to spring an ambush.

Interestingly enough, the Apaches did not fully understand the Civil War and they thought that the absence of soldiers, most of which were transferred east, was a sign that they were effectively chasing them out of Apacheland. As a result, most of their depredations were targeted at white settlers. 

dragoon mountains cochise
Arizona's Dragoon Mountains and Cochise Stronghold
The Battle of Apache Pass began when a forward advance of the California Volunteer column was searching for much needed water. The 88 man detachment found themselves boxed into a canyon that had Apaches high on the rocks above them raining fire down. The soldiers finally went through a breech and  made their way to the water but it took their howitzers to dislodge the Apaches from the overhead rocks. 

Without the howitzers the detachment could have been wiped out. The last shot of the battle struck Apache leader Mangas Coloradas in the chest and this event caused the Apaches to break away from the attack. Mangas Coloradas did survive his serious wound. 

An Excellent Western Trip Stop

The Battle of Apache Pass was a significant event during the Civil War. With General carleton able to push through to the east he was able to hook up with Union forces in New Mexico. Visiting this site takes you to both a historic site and one which saw more than it's share of violence both during the Butterfield Overland Mail days and during the Civil War. 

Visiting the Fort Bowie Visitors Center and taking the relatively short hike to the fort and stage station ruins is a fun and inexpensive way to learn more about the Apache Indians, old Arizona and the Civil War in the West. If your travels take you to southern Arizona along Interstate 10 the Fort Bowie National Historic Site is a fine addition to your western trip planner. Apache Pass is located about 106 miles east of Tucson Arizona and about 25 miles west of the New Mexico border.

(Article copyright 2014 Western Trips. Photos and images in the public domain)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Old Jail in Clay County Texas

Travelers in north Texas have many historic sites to visit and one of those is in Clay County Texas in the town of Henrietta. Henrietta is locate about 20 miles southeast of Wichita Falls and about 118 miles northwest of Dallas Texas.

Further in this article we have featured some interesting and historic sites in Henrietta you'll want to visit. 

clay county texas museum
Nobody knows for certain how the town of Henrietta got it's name. It has been suggested that the name is a feminized version for "Henry" , the first name of Henry Clay for whom the county is named after. Henrietta is the county seat of Clay County and the town goes back to 1860 when it was comprised of less than a dozen homes and a general store. The year 1860 of course marked the beginning of the American Civil War and that event in itself had perilous consequences for this remote frontier town.

Clay County and Henrietta was located in the far western area of the Texas frontier. A frontier line that would actually be rolled back during the Civil War.

Henrietta Attacked and Burned

The Civil War left settlements on the frontier open to Indian attack. The war drew soldiers out of Texas to fight further east. U.S. troops were driven out of Texas by the Confederate forces. The local soldiers there to protect the settlers were gone. Any reluctance that the Indians had to attack was soon gone and attack they did.

Because of the Indian attacks, by the year 1862 Henrietta and Clay County were essentially vacated. It's white settlers fleeing to other counties. The empty town was raided by Indians and eventually burned down.

old 1890 jail
Old Clay County Jail and Sheriff's residence
Attempts to resettle Henrietta and Clay County in both 1865 and 1870 were met with disaster. Indians massacred settlers in both instances. This was a period of Comanche and Kiowa raids which made a good deal of north Texas from Clay County westward a dangerous place to settle. After the war and into the 1870's, the U.S. Cavalry was on the move attempting to end the raiding and place the Indians within Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma and not far north of Clay County Texas.

Henrietta Resettled in the Early 1870's

With the U.S. soldiers progress against the Indians, Henrietta was resettled in about 1873 and by 1874 had it's first post office. This was also the era when barbed wire started to fence in Clay County and bring an end to the open range in this part of Texas.

In 1881 the town was incorporated and by 1882 Henrietta welcomed the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad which was a major route up to Amarillo and eventually Denver Colorado.

The Old Clay County Jail Museum

Of interest to any traveler to this part of Texas is the old Clay County Jail which today is the 1890 Jail Museum-Heritage Center. The old jail and museum is located one block from today's Clay County Courthouse at 116 N. Graham in Henrietta. As of this writing, the 1890 Jail Museum-Heritage Center is open Th. & Fri., 10-2, Sat. 1-4; admission $2 adult, $1 student. 940-538-5655 or 940-524-3465

clay county texas courthouse
1884 Clay County Texas Courthouse
This was also the sheriff's residence at the time and actually served as a detention center until 1973. Today's museum and heritage center included exhibits on the old west, Texas ranching, old photos and family histories and agricultural displays. The museum also has the original jail cells and gallows of which the gallows reportedly were never used. You'll also see the sheriff's residence area with it's Victorian parlor. This was at a time when the sheriff's wife would prepare meals for any jail inmates.

See the Western Trips articles on the links below...

A Visit to Quanah Texas

A Visit to the Saints Roost Museum / Clarendon Texas 

The Charles Goodnight Ranch House 

A Walking Tout of Historic Gonzales Texas

The Old St. Elmo Hotel

Another interesting site is the remains of what was once the St. Elmo Hotel. The hotel located at 106 E. Omega Street (U.S. 82) was built in 1895 and reportedly had such guests as President Theodore Roosevelt and the old Comanche warrior and leader Quanah Parker who it was said married two of his wives there. A fire destroyed the hotel's top floors and the hotel never reopened. Today, an antique store occupies a part of the original lower floor.

st elmo hotel henrietta texas
St. Elmo Hotel, circa 1900
The Clay County Courthouse

The Clay County Courthouse was built in 1884 and is still in use today. The courthouse was built just a few years after the town incorporated. The courthouse architecture is Classical with Italianate influences. The building's original roof was hipped on a low pitch with a clock tower that was capped by a cupola and finished with sheet metal details. In 1911 the original roof was replaced with a gable roof and a low dome. The Clay Courthouse offices are generally in their same original configuration however over the years the walls have been paneled and dropped ceilings installed.

Historic and Fun Stops Along Texas U.S. Hwy 287

The old town of Henrietta, it's 1890 Jail Museum-Heritage Center and Clay County Texas is located along U.S. Hwy 287 which is the main highway between the Dallas/ Fort Worth area and Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. This is an old route and as such has many interesting and historic sites all along it's route.

One of these is the town of Quanah Texas, located about 80 miles northwest of Wichita Falls and named after the famous Comanche Quanah Parker, has a unique museum to visit

santa fe railroad clock
Exhibit in old train depot at Saints Roost Museum
Another good stop is to the Saints Roost Museum in Clarendon Texas, about 60 miles southeast of Amarillo. This is a museum that features many old west and ranching artifacts along with an original bunkhouse from the old JA Ranch and an old Fort Worth and Denver Railroad depot that was moved to the museum site.

The Old 1890 Jail in Henrietta, a visit to the Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railroad Museum in Quanah Texas and the very unique Saints Roost Museum in Clarendon Texas are all fun stops to make when traveling U.S. Hwy 287 between Dallas/ Fort Worth and Amarillo.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Western Trips. St. Elmo Hotel photo courtesy http://texashistory.unt.edu)