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County
Oldham
Region
Panhandle Plains
Population
2010 Census - Unknown
2000 Census - Unknown
Nearby
Towns
Tascosa, Texas
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Tascosa Texas History:
The area was first settled by shepherds and freighters from New Mexico. The town was named Atascosa (boggy) for the swamp-like area where Atascosa Creek joins the Canadian River. In the late 1870s the local ranches used the town as a gathering spot on the Tascosa-Dodge City Cattle Trail. Henry Kimball established a blacksmith shop, the town’s first business. A general store and the Tascosa post office were established soon after. In 1880, Tascosa became the county seat of the newly organized Oldham County. A stone courthouse was constructed. Tascosa was soon known as the “Cowboy Capital of the Plains” because outlaws either became long-term residents in Boot Hill or quickly left. Around 1887, the  Fort Worth and Denver City Railway built a line through the county, missing Tascosa by two miles. The town moved two miles across the river to the new tracks. In 1890, the combined population of Old and New Tascosa was 350. By 1915, the population was rapidly declining as residents moved to other Texas Panhandle towns. Vega won an election to become the new county seat. Tascosa’s population dropped to 15 as residents moved to Vega. The last to leave was Frency McCormick, the widow of Tascosa’s first saloon owner. The woman held out until 1939, the same year the “Boys Ranch” was established on the former townsite. The Boys Ranch was founded by Cal Farley and his wife Mimi who along with their dog Cricket are buried in front of the courthouse.The 1884 courthouse now houses the Julian Bivins Museum. Tascosa is located on Rita Blanca Creek and the Canadian River on U.S. 385, 35.7 miles northeast of Adrian, 23 miles northeast of Vega, 42 miles southeast of Dalhart, 13.6 miles southeast of Channing, 70 miles southwest of Fritch, and 59 miles northwest of Amarillo, Texas.
 
Texas Plains Trail Region:
The 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region includes the Texas Panhandle and Plains. It stretches from the Texas towns of Big Spring and Colorado City in the southern portion of the region, to Muleshoe and the New Mexico state border in the west, to Quanah and Knox City in the east, and to the top of the Texas Panhandle, from Dalhart in the west to Lipscomb in the east. The Texas Plains Trail Region organization is a nonprofit heritage tourism organization affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission. TPTR acts as an economic development initiative that helps Texas communities to promote their historic and cultural resources, and increase tourism to their areas. The organization helps promote travel to heritage destinations and historic sites. A name repeatedly mentioned in the history of West Texas is Cynthia Ann Parker, a young child captured during a raid on Fort Parker. She grew up among the Comanches, married Comanche chief Peta Nocona, and had three children, Pecos, Quanah and Prairie Flower. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross, a future governor of Texas, rescued her and her infant daughter Prairie Flower; Charles Goodnight participated in this raid. Her son Quanah became famous as the last great war chief of the Comanche. One of TPTR’s most visible recent projects is the Quanah Parker Trail. When the project is completed, giant Quanah Parker arrow markers will have been installed in all 52 counties in the Texas Plains Trail Region. Some counties will have more than one installation. The arrows were created and donated by New Home, Texas, artist Charles Smith. As of early 2014, over 70 arrows had been installed in almost 50 counties. Each arrow will have a plaque giving pertinent historical information. (806) 747-1997. P.O. Box 88, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Email  Plains Trail Map
 
Old Tascosa, Texas Historical Marker Text: 
“Old Tascosa, cowboy capital of the Plains, lay one-half mile northeast. In its brief span, it became the center of the open-range world, stamping ground for some of the West's most notorious bad men and focal point for cattle thieves and ranchmen. Because of the easy crossing of the Canadian River at the site, it early became a meeting place where Indians and Mexican traders (Comancheros) exchanged contraband goods, including women and children. With the passing of the buffalo came the first permanent settlement, made by Mexican sheepherders in 1876. Charles Goodnight and Thomas S. Bugbee brought the first cattle to the free-grass empire the same year. Smaller ranchmen and nesters followed and the boom was on. Hundreds of miles from the general line of settlement, Tascosa lured the lawless and the lawmen: Billy the Kids and Pat Garretts. To accommodate those who 'died with their boots on' in growing gunfights, a cemetery was set aside in 1879. It was named for the famed 'Boot Hill' in Dodge City, Kansas, to which Tascosa was tied by cattle and freight trail. Heaviest toll in a single shoot out occurred March 21, 1886, when three cowboys and a restaurant owner died in a five-minute duel. All went to Boot Hill. The cattle trails, Tascosa's lifeblood, began to be pinched off with the coming of barbed wire, first commercial use of which was on the nearby Frying Pan Ranch in 1882. The noose was drawn still tighter when the vast XIT spread fenced its 3 million acres. By 1887 Tascosa was completely closed in. When the railroad bypassed it the same year, its fate was sealed. By the time the Oldham County Seat was moved to Vega in 1915, only 15 residents remained. Sole remnants of the old town today are Boot Hill and the stone courthouse. The site, however, is occupied by Cal Farley's Boys Ranch."
 
Historic LS (Ranch), Texas Historical Marker Text:
"Great early ranch well known to bad man Billy the Kid and other famed western characters. The LS was founded in 1870s by former Indian territory trader W.M.D. Lee and New York financier Lucien Scott. Through Lee's efforts, the LS had water and grass for over 100,000 cattle and sometimes drove 6 or 7 herds a year up the trail. When thefts followed Billy the Kid's visits, LS men rode west and brought back their cattle; and when Tascosa gunfights put men into Boot Hill graves, the LS escaped disaster. But drought brought heavy losses in 1886; and grant of 3,000,000 acres of panhandle lands to the XIT (state of Texas' payment for constructing Capitol in Austin) cut old LS range in half. Lee left in 1890 to promote a ship canal in Houston. Scott died 1893. W.H. Gray and E.F. Swift of Chicago bought LS in 1905.
Memorable LS men included foreman J.E. McAlister, later a Channing merchant. One of the $25-a-month cowboys was E.L. Doheny, later a multi-millionaire oil man involved in 1920's Teapot Dome scandal. Ownership of brand and 96,000 acres of LS range passed to Col. C.T. Herring, rancher and civic leader of Amarillo; his estate still operates it."
 
Boot Hill Cemetery, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Along with law abiding and god fearing men and women were buried here, often without benefit of clergy, men who ”died with their boots on. The name was borrowed from a cemetery in Dodge City, Kansas, while it was a resort of buffalo hunters and trail drivers.”
 
Cal Farley's Boys Ranch:
Cal Farley's is one of America's largest privately-funded child and family service providers specializing in both residential and community-based services at no cost to the families of the boys and girls living on this working ranch. Visitors are welcomed Mon-Sat, noon-5pm; Sun, noon-5pm. Call for tour arrangements. Tours begin with a short film at the Ranch Headquarters and include the Boot Hill Cemetery overlooking the ranch. All visitors are invited to stay and share a meal with the boys and girls when timing allows; the dining hall is closed mornings and weekends. Visitors are also invited to the Sunday at 11am chapel service. Open daily, 8am-5pm. (800) 687-3722. (806) 372-2341. 180 Riverside Drive, Boys Ranch, Texas 79101. From Amarillo take FM 1061 to U.S. 385 and drive north across the Canadian River to the ranch gate on your right.
 
Julian Bivins Museum:
The museum is located in the 1884 Oldham County Courthouse. Exhibits depict the history of Oldham County and Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Tour the Boys Ranch, the original sod schoolhouse and Boothill Cemetery. Admission is free. Email       
 
Annual Boys Ranch Rode + AdventureFest, Labor Day Weekend, Sept:  
Activities include a youth rodeo (Ages 5-18), mutton busting, stick horse racing, bronco and bull riding, a BBQ, and a reenactment of a 1800s trading camp. Tickets are available in July by phone or from their Amarillo office at 600 SW 11th Street. (806) 372-2341. (800) 687-3722.
 
Rita Blanca Creek:
The Creek rises in two branches in Union County, New Mexico. It enters Texas near Texline in northwestern Dallam County. The two branches join southeast of Texline and continue on a 60 mile course through Hartley County, where the creek forms Rita Blanca Lake just south of Dalhart. The creek enters the Canadian River in northern Oldham County just south of Channing, and west of Boys Ranch Tascosa.
 
Canadian River:
The Canadian River, the largest tributary of the Arkansas River, rises near Raton Pass in Colorado and near the New Mexico border. It flows south and southeasterly separating the Llano Estacado in northeast New Mexico and northwest Texas from the northern High Plains. The river is approximately 760 miles long; approximately 190 miles of the river are located in Texas. The river enters Texas near the midpoint of the western boundary of Oldham County. It crosses the Texas Panhandle, flowing eastward and northeastward through Oldham, Potter, Moore, Hutchinson, Roberts, and Hemphill Counties. Particularly in its lower reaches in Oklahoma, the riverbed contains great amounts of quicksand; this and the deep gorge make the river difficult to bridge. The North Canadian River, a tributary of the Canadian, rises in New Mexico; it briefly passes through Texas before entering Oklahoma. The mouth of the Canadian River is located on the Arkansas River, 20 miles east of Canadian, Texas in Haskell County, Oklahoma. According to some sources, the river's name came from early explorers who thought that it flowed into Canada. Among the Canadian's principal tributaries in Texas are Big Blue, Tallahone, Red Deer, Pedarosa, Punta Agua, Amarillo, Tascosa, and White Deer Creeks. The Texas portion of the Canadian River is noted for (archeological sites where extensive remains of Pueblo Indian culture have been found. Large collections of artifacts and records from all of the WPA excavations and many other projects are on file at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas. Artifacts from W. C. Holden's early studies and F. E. Green's excavations at sites within the Lake Meredith area are located at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Artifacts from other excavated sites at Lake Meredith are located at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin. Small collections and notes from other surveys are on file at the National Park Service office in Fritch, Texas. The river is dammed to form Lake Meredith forty miles northeast of Amarillo, 10 miles west of Burges, and near Fritch, Texas. Fish Stocking History     
 
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar
 
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program, and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened up, and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
                      
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
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