Cattle drives usually began in the spring after roundup, as grass was available then and the herd could be delivered to its destination in the north before cold weather set in. Livestock from several different owners was usually included in a trail herd. The trail boss obtained documentation from each rancher noting the owner's brand, earmark and number of cattle. Then all animals in the drive were branded with the same road brand, regardless of ownership.
Trail drivers were cowboys (and cowgirls) who moved cattle from a home range to a distant market or another range.Â A typical trail driving outfit consisted of a boss, who might or might not be the owner; 10 to 15 hands, each of whom had a string of from 5 to 10 horses; a horse wrangler (remudero) who drove and herded the cow horses and a cook, who drove the chuck wagon. The cookâ€™s assistant nickname was â€śLittle Mary.â€ť A "hoodlum" wagon was attached to the chuck wagon and carried the cowboys gear and bedrolls. During the day, the men drove and grazed the cattle and at night herded them by relays. Ten or 12 miles was considered a good day's drive. Typical meals consisted of bread, meat, beans with bacon and coffee. The trail boss was the ultimate authority on the trail, like the captain of a ship, and was paid $100 to $125 a month. Of the rest of the crew, the cook was the most important, earning about $60 per month. The cowboy wage was around $30-40.00 a month depending on the crew he worked for.
Beginning in 2008, this exciting hands-on, exhibit consists of four learning stations! The exhibit allows kids toÂ learn:
We would like to say thank you to our previous Executive Director, Jami Hoffman, for securing the grant funding and expediting the entire project so that this exhibit could become part of Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.