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Texas Plains Trail Region

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

Goodnight: Charles Goodnight Historical Center


Charles Goodnight Home
Charles Goodnight Home

Charles Goodnight, along with business partner John Adair, established the JA Ranch, the first cattle ranch in the Texas panhandle, in 1887 in the Palo Duro Canyon area.

At the Charles Goodnight Historical Center, the 1887 Victorian-style Goodnight home is newly restored on its original site. It features a 268-foot second-floor sleeping porch with spectacular views of the countryside and the nearby bison herd, descendants of the herd raised by Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight. The J. Evetts Haley Visitor and Education Center offers exhibits about the Goodnights, bison, and transportation and settlement of the area. A Quanah Parker Trail giant arrow marker commemorates the friendship between Charles Goodnight and Quanah Parker. The updated Cattalo Building, behind the main house, hosts weddings, family reunions, and other events.

View slide shows:

April 2013 (dedication of visitor center)
May 2013 (dedication of the Quanah Parker Trail marker)
September 2013 (Molly Goodnight Day and dedication of visitor center)


Location

  • 4901 County Road 25
  • Goodnight, Texas
  • 79226

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • March - November: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    December - February: Thursday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Adults: $10; Children (12 & under): $5


Map & Directions

From Claude, go east on U.S. 287 about 12 miles.

From I-40, take Hwy 294 (Exit 109 near Groom) south about 11 miles. Cross U.S.287 to south-side service road.

Watch for the buffalo signs and turn south on County Rd. 25 by the green Buffalo Gold building


Old Texas
Silent | 1916
Film courtesy Texas Archive of the Moving Image
See the entire film by clicking on the Texas Flag logo to the left of the sound function.

​Produced by legendary cattleman Colonel Charles Goodnight, this film presents a narrative of his relationship with the Kiowa tribe who inhabited the area in and around Palo Duro Canyon and the JA Ranch. The film documents scenes from bison hunts, daily life in the Kiowa camp and the JA Ranch, and rituals and customs of the tribe. Included is footage of the last buffalo hunt that Charles Goodnight held on the ranch and invited the Kiowa to attend.

 

Texas State Historical Association logo
Read more about the JA Ranch and Charles Goodnight in the Handbook of Texas Online.