Near the end of the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm established a trading post at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers.
His trading trail into Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) became known as the Chisholm's Trail. Texans used the route to walk wild Texas Longhorns to the Kansas railheads.
Wichita was founded along the trail and near Chisholm's trading post in 1868. In 1873, the railroad reached Wichita, making it the newest railhead for the Texans. Over the next several years, Wild West legends such as Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson walked Wichita's streets.
Today, the Old Cowtown Museum is an authentic, 17-acre, open-air living history museum, which recreates city life in Wichita and Sedgwick County from 1865 to 1880. A unique, 13-site Western Heritage Tour is available.