The Comancheros were the traders who came primarily from New Mexico to do business with the various Native American tribes, principally Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne, who were the known occupants of the Caprock Canyons during that time.
Located in a 3,000-plus-square-foot former church building in Quitaque, the recently established Comanchero Canyons Museum tells the history of the Caprock region east of the Llano Estacado, which includes portions of Briscoe, Floyd, Hall, Motley, and Swisher Counties in Texas, focusing on animal and human occupants of this area prior to the twentieth century:
• The first known inhabitants of the area, hunter-gatherers associated with the mastodons and other prehistoric animals
• Various later Native American tribes, both named and unnamed
• Early Spanish and Angleo visitors, including the 200-man expedition of Spaniards from San Antonio in 1808 that traversed this area to get to Santa Fe to quell an uprising
• The ill-fated Texan-Santa Fe Expedition in 1841
• The 4th Calvary campaigns of 1871-72
• The cavalry and infantry soliders battles of the Red River War, 1874-75
Newly established in 2013, the museum already contains an impressive array of exhibits. Artifacts from the Texan-Santa Fe Expedition and the Red River War have already been donated for display, as well as fossil remains discovered in the area, and the collection of Otho Stubbs, artist and historian from Turkey. An authentic Mexican carreta (cart) donated by one of the museum directors, Marisue Potts of Motley County, in memory of her husband, Ralph Powell, is of particular interest due to its association with the comancheros that traveled to this area in the 1700s and 1800s.
View a slide show of the museum, along with other highlights of Quitaque and nearby Matador, here.