Panhandle Spirit: Cattle, Cowboys, and Culture


    A new exhibit, "Cattle, Cowboys, and Culture", opens Feb. 23 at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. (ABC7 Amarillo)

    There's a new exhibit being unveiled this week at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

    The sub-title is 'Building an Urban West', and it reveals a connection, which many might not realize ever existed, that shaped Amarillo's future.

    "I think this is kind of an untold story. It's a unique one that people don't necessarily connect us to," said the museum’s communications director, Stephanie Price.

    It's a story of cattle, cowboys, and culture and how they intersected outside of the Lone Star state.

    "Most people think that Amarillo has a very close tie to Fort Worth because of the cattle industry, but actually the cattle were driven north to Kansas City," Price said.

    Price says the connection dates to the late 1800's when Amarillo ranching families, such as the Bivins, would travel to KC to shop for international clothing for their children. Charles Goodnight's life was saved by a doctor in Kansas City. Stories like these, and many more are brought to life by the variety of things on display.

    The exhibit's co-curator, Michael Grauer, who's a Kansas City native, said the cattle industry created the link to the culture in Kansas City, then replicated here.

    For example, our Herring Hotel has a twin sister hotel there, called The President. The exhibit features relics of the Herring's heyday.

    Price hopes the variety of artifacts, from the everyday household items, to the ranchers' tools of the trade will shed light on another amazing element of our Panhandle Spirit.

    "I think people are gonna be fascinated by the stories, by the clothing, by the things that they can really see that relationship come through all the artifacts in that gallery."

    It opens Saturday, February 23, and runs through the end of the year. This summer, it'll explore another KC and Texas connection--food. There's a barbecue showdown on the calendar for July.

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