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Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Colorado City


Replica of Bison antiquus on display at museum

Colorado City is a Main Street City that bustles at festival time during the aptly-named Frontier Days. During the real frontier of the 1870s a ranger camp on the Colorado River gave this place the name "Mother City of West Texas." Colorado City became a boisterous cattle town after the railroad arrived in 1881. Ranchers drove herds to town and ranch hands patronized lively saloons.

Decades later, an oil boom afforded the county the wealth to build the Classical Revival Mitchell County Courthouse in 1924. That same year, two locals found fossilized bones of Bison antiquus on Lone Wolf Creek.

A replica of that ancient bison stands now in the Heart of West Texas Museum. Another exhibit features the real bones of an ancient mammoth found at a nearby lake. A Native American display recalls the life and influence of Kiowa Chief Lone Wolf during the 1870s Red River War. Twentieth-century artifacts include a World War II Norden bombsight and a Missouri & Pacific Railroad caboose. Experience the life of a pioneer banker with a visit to the 1882 Scott-Majors home, now called Heritage House. Catch a country-western show at the 1899 Colorado City Opera House, one of the state’s oldest music venues, or view traces of the old Bankhead Highway through town.

Colorado City is the site of a giant arrow marker on the Quanah Parker Trail. Learn more about the arrow, and this area's Comanche history, here.


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