On Saturday, July 28, the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus is partnering with the Red River Valley Museum in Vernon, Texas, to host a modern-day trail drive in celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy. The event will begin at the Altus museum, continue on to Doan’s Crossing, and finish at the Red River Valley Museum. Museum admission is free.
Schedule of Activities:
Altus - “Breakfast on the Prairie” 8:30-10:30 a.m., at the Museum of the Western Prairie, 1100 Memorial Drive.
The members of the Western Trial Historical Society will host “Breakfast on the Prairie”. Members and guests are invited to enjoy a full morning of activities built around three vignettes: A Cowboy’s Campfire Breakfast, A Pioneer Breakfast in a Half-Dugout, and A Ranch Headquarters Breakfast. Each of these mini-programs will be living history presentations scripted by Museum Director, Jennie Buchanan and designed to recreate a typical breakfast in each of the three settings in the museum’s courtyard. In addition, a fourth vignette will feature a storyteller entertaining guests with a sampling of food-related stories, such as How to Bake a Jack Rabbit and How to Prepare Angels on Horseback.
Each of the vignettes will capitalize on the uniqueness of the people who settled in this part of the country. For example, at the Eddleman’s Cross S Ranch Headquarters, the menus often included cherished traditional Southern recipes from happier days before the families of Southern planters were displaced by the “War Between the States.” The presentation at the Criswell Half-Dugout will focus on dishes prepared for a hard-working family, like a dinner of “venison, poke salad, hot corn bread, butter, cottage cheese, and wild dewberry pie” as well has the experience of living in a half-dugout which is reflected in a young girl’s explaining, “We had quail for breakfast and just as I had finished mine, a centipede fell from the ceiling right in my plate.” And, the cowboy will reminisce about “the heavenly perfume of fried bacon mingled with the aroma of camp coffee.”
The members of the historical society will also be serving A Taste of a Prairie Breakfast featuring the modern-day equivalents of sourdough biscuits and salt pork prepared in a Dutch oven and campfire coffee (along with juice for the younger guests).
Doan’s Crossing - 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Just south of the Red River, East on FM 2916 from Hwy 283.
Jeff Bearden will do a First Person Tour of Doan’s as a Cowboy who went up the trail. Members of the Red River Valley Museum will serve lemonade from a chuckwagon in the shade of the big pecan trees that were planted by Jonathan Doan in the late 1800s.
Vernon - 1-4 p.m., at the Red River Valley Museum, 4600 College Drive.
The afternoon will include the opening of the “Art of the American West” art show which is co-sponsored by the Western Trail Art Association. This show includes a wide variety of work from paintings, sculptures, handmade Indian headdress, to jewelry and other silver work. Next will be an Ice Cream Freeze Off with the entry fee of $10 per freezer ($5 returned when ice cream is brought that day). Prizes include: First Prize $100, Second Prize $50. The ice cream will be served and sold for $1 per scoop. The Museum Guild will sponsor a bake sale. A special announcement of an award by True West Magazine will be followed by “Decades of Music” by the Western Trail Wranglers.
For further information contact the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus at (580) 482-1044 or the Red River Valley Museum at (940) 553-1848.