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Marble Falls Founders Day spotlights Chisholm Trail

An 1873 map of the Chisholm Trail with subsidiary trails in Texas. The trail will feature in the Marble Falls Founders Day celebration July 13 at The Falls on the Colorado River.

The Chisholm Trail winds its way into the annual Marble Falls Founders Day celebration on Saturday, July 13, at The Falls on the Colorado Museum.

The museum will open early at 9 AM to celebrate the founding of Marble Falls.

The trail, which helped pull Texas out of a post-Civil War financial crisis, is one of the most famous cattle trails in US history. It only operated from 1867 to 1884, but it lives on in Texas cowboy culture.

Highland Lakes rancher Sam Burnam will give a presentation at 10:30 AM on how the Chisholm Trail impacted his ancestors and other area ranching families before Marble Falls was founded and the railroads came to the area. While the trail initially stretched from the Red River into central Kansas, it eventually became the main thoroughfare for ranchers in south Central Texas and as far south as the Rio Grande Valley to get their cattle to Kansas, where the animals were shipped to markets across the growing country.

Founders Day recognizes the founding of Marble Falls by Adam R. Johnson and his partners on July 12, 1887.

Johnson came across the location on the Colorado River years before and thought it would be the perfect place for a city. He wouldn’t get a chance to make that happen until after the Civil War, during which he served as a Confederate officer. In the war, Johnson lost his sight, but he never forgot the beauty of the what would become the city of Marble Falls.

Along with Burnam’s presentation, visitors can view museum displays, including the new geology exhibit and a section dedicated to the railroad that carried stone from Granite Mountain to help build the Texas Capitol building. For a deeper look into the past, there’s Rockie, the 700-year-old skeleton of a bison uncovered in northeast Burnet County.

The museum doesn’t charge admission but does rely on donations.

Regular museum hours are 10 AM-4 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The facility will open an hour early for Founders Day.

The Falls on the Colorado Museum is located at 2001 Broadway Ave. in Marble Falls. Call (830) 798-2571 or visit the museum’s website for more information.

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