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Texas Plains Trail Region

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

Tulia


Photo by Rick Vanderpool

Fifteen miles east of town, boaters ply the waters of Mackenzie Reservoir where the dramatic red walls of Tule Canyon spill onto the plains. In 1874 Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie camped here before attacking Comanche leader Quanah Parker in the last major battle of the Red River War. Cattleman Charles Goodnight later established a division of his famed JA ranch here. The Swisher County Archives and Museum details these and other colorful aspects of county history. The county’s first log cabin, once part of a JA Ranch line camp, sits outside the main building. Inside, find a complete blacksmith shop, large photographic display on pioneer life and a reconstructed five-room Victorian home. The museum also interprets the story of Quanah Parker, the last free-roaming Comanche chief. Four large sculptural arrows erected in Tulia and across the county mark heritage sites along the region’s Quanah Parker Trail. A large white obelisk rises from the brick street surrounding the Swisher County Courthouse square. This Ozark Trail marker erected in 1920 denotes Tulia as a stop along one of America’s early designated driving routes.


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