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Texas Plains Trail Region

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

Perryton


Photo by Rick Vanderpool

US 83 cuts across pancake-flat farmland in Ochiltree County, the so-called "Wheatheart of the Nation." The highway becomes Main Street in Perryton (the northernmost county seat in Texas) and passes the 1928 Classical Revival-style Ochiltree County Courthouse, as well as bustling businesses and the 1930s Ellis Theater. The first railroad arrived in 1919 but bypassed the former county seat of Ochiltree, now a ghost town. So citizens of Ochiltree and nearby Gray, Oklahoma, literally moved homes and businesses to the new railroad town of Perryton. One of those buildings, a general store from Gray, now welcomes heritage tourists at the Museum of the Plains. Other outbuildings include a Santa Fe depot and caboose, a 1906 farmhouse and the Gray Community Church. Plains Indians hunted bison where wheat now grows, and even older pre-Columbian groups lived in pueblo-like structures known as the “Buried City.” Interpretive panels chronicle these cultures alongside projectile points, a Kiowa teepee and a replica Kiowa calendar drawn on deer skin. The rambling museum boasts some 10,000 artifacts--including wagons, antique cars and trucks and even bones from an ancient Imperial mammoth.


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