History was reenacted this past week along the Chisholm Trail and will culminate later this week up near Wichita, to commemorate it's origins some 150 years ago. A cattle drive that began in Oklahoma about a week ago spent Tuesday night near Wellington Lake and pulled out of there late Wednesday morning and headed up the Chisholm Trail towards Mayfield. The 100 or so Longhorns and their drovers headed back out on the trail after a good nights rest, some grazing time and got all watered down just before they departed, horses too! Wagon ruts are still visible in the area as remnants of the heavily traveled trail many years ago.
There's a handful of support "wagons" with the drive, one being the Chuckwagon where the cowboys prepare their meals along the way. One cowhand indicated to me this was his 17th cattle drive and he looked the part perfectly. I asked him why he does it and he said, "It's important to pass this on to the younger kids today or it's going to be forgotten." These guys could ride, a few bovine darted from the herd near Mayfield and within a mere matter of seconds, the drovers and their horses had everything back in order in no time at all - fun to watch.
The day's "cow camp" after leaving Mayfield would be about 1/2 mile north of HWY 160 up Mayfield Road. There is considerable logistics with moving a herd of Longhorn through two States in 2017. Law enforcement when necessary would stop traffic so the herd could safely advance. The wranglers even maintained contact with the railroad to stop trains while the herd traveled around and over the tracks along the way.
It was definitely a trip back in time and one I won't forget. People were really tough back then...some of these cattle drives from Texas up to Abilene could take 2-3 months...the longhorns and the drovers had to put up with a lot no doubt...blizzards in the winter, storms in the summer, etc. etc...according to the Chisholm Trail marker near Mayfield just off of Anson road on the way to the lake says over 2 million cattle came through these parts on the Trail - that's a lot of beef!
There were school kids from Wellington and Oxford at the Mayfield event - also a nice sized contingent of folks interested in the history it all represented. A day I won't forget - the Mayfield folks did a great job in preparation for this celebration - thank you our neighbors to the West, right along the ole Chisholm Trail...git along little dogies, git along!