Pioneer Days at Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum Nov. 10-11

Pioneer days entertainment
Courtesy photo

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.

Pioneer Days

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.

Pioneer Days blacksmith
Photo courtesy Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum

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.

Pioneer Days cannon
Photo courtesy Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum

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.

Pioneer days cooking tent
Courtesy photo

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.

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.