In August 1891, Olivia G. Porter, wife of town founder Thomas J. Porter, named the Briscoe County seat of Silverton supposedly from silvery reflections she saw on local playa lakes.
Three years later, a two-story jail constructed of rock from nearby Tule Canyon was erected. Its first occupant, the county sheriff, was locked up during the grand opening ceremony as a joke. Today, the restored 19th-century jail serves as the Old Jail Museum, which offers a realistic look at frontier justice. The Briscoe County Courthouse is a brick Classical Revival building originally built in 1922 and remodeled in 1954.
North of Silverton, State Highway 207 offers breathtaking scenery as it crosses Palo Duro and Tule Canyons. Tule Canyon was infamously the site of the US Army's destruction of more than 1,000 Comanche horses during the brutal Red River War to force Native Americans onto reservation lands. Though the actual site of the pony kill is on private land in adjoining Swisher County, three giant Quanah Parker Trail arrow markers in Briscoe County mark the significant Comanche and other Native heritage of this region. Quitaque, long an important gathering spot for Comanches and comanchero traders, invites visitors to explore this history at the Comanchero Canyons Museum.