Scenic USA - Kansas

Dodge City

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Boot Hill Entrance - Dodge City, Kansas

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Dodge City, one of the most famous frontier towns in the plains, still evokes Front Street - Dodge City that Old Western spirit. For thousands of tourists, this old cattle town offers plenty of ways to experience the rough and tumble segment of western heritage. Today's Boot Hill Museum recreates Front Street and its string of shops, a home and church. Authentic artifacts displayed throughout the complex add enough interest to make this a fun, yet historic experience.
     Protecting a steady stream of 19th century settlers who made their way Dodge City Welcome along the Sante Fe Trail, Fort Dodge became the key ingredient for a new high plains town. Smart enough to understand the importance of a railroad connection, a group of businessmen and nearby military leaders laid out Dodge City along the Arkansas River in 1872. Along with a rancher's home, the first business was set up in a sod and wooden structure, serving up drinks for the local military post. Early Dodge City settlers dealt in Buffalo bones and hides, but once the railroad arrived, Dodge City boomed with cattle shipments. Although temporarily sidelined with a cattle quarantine, politicians conveniently stepped in to re-establish Dodge City as the Queen of the Cow Towns.
   Only tasked to offer protection for wagon trains and support the Plains Indians Wars, Jack Reynolds Grave - Boot Hill Museum Fort Dodge had no jurisdiction in local Dodge City matters. The town, swollen with buffalo hunters, cowboys, prostitutes and gamblers, epitomized the term wild west. Brothels and saloons quickly separated the cowboy from his cash. Gambling quickly lead to gunfights. In order to quell this riotous town, some of the West's most famous lawmen arrived in 1876. Among the legendary Dodge City lawmen, famous names Dodge City Bull included Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman and Wyatt Earp. These Dodge City heroes later inspired a string of western movies and television shows. Some of the earliest novels and radio shows relived the wild days of Dodge City. Although highly purified for a family today, Dodge City puts on its best rendition of the Wild West.
   A cautionary note: For those with a sensitive nose, livestock is still Dodge City's lifeblood. And it goes without saying, you don't want to be caught downwind.

    Dodge City Walking Tour

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