Pioneer Days, one of Cleburne’s most popular annual events, invites us to step back in time to the 1800s at the 20th annual celebration. The two-day event returns to the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum Nov. 10-11. Pioneer Days honors the history of Texas, Cleburne, and the Chisholm Trail with family-friendly and educational activities.
Period attire and entertainment, Wild West gunslingers, storytelling, and chuck wagon cooking demos are all featured. A wide variety of activities for kids include a petting zoo, and live musical entertainment is also featured. Food vendors will be available on the grounds of the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum. A blacksmith shop with a working blacksmith is also featured. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11. The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum is located at 101 Chisholm Trail off Highway 67, next to the Pat Cleburne Lake.
Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum
The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum is curated and maintained by the Johnson County Heritage Foundation with a mission of “keeping the past in the present.” Visitors to the museum often encounter costumed docents and Old West reenactors. The museum sits on the 80-acre site of Wardville, the original but short-lived county seat (1854-1856).
Located between Town Branch Creek and the Nolan River, Wardville was named for Texas soldier Thomas Ward., a Texas soldier. During the time Wardville was the county seat, 29 families lived there. The original log courthouse, certified as the state’s oldest existing log courthouse, is located on the museum grounds.
Johnson County Stage Line
A mule barn used by the Johnson County Stage Line and a replica of the Stage Station are also featured on the museum grounds. Doors from the 1855 Wardville Jail are in the replica Sheriff’s office and jail, along with cell bars that were used at the county work farm. A reproduction of the Nolan River School (1855-1872) on the museum property is widely used for field trips by area schools.
Big Bear Native American Museum features a number of family-friendly activities and interesting exhibits. An authentic Indian campsite and Teepees are also available to explore. The Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum has numerous events throughout the year, including Pioneer Days on the second weekend in November. For more information, please visit the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum.