Following a fire in 1881 that burned the state capitol building to the ground, the State of Texas, finding itself land-rich and cash-poor, granted three million acres of land at one dollar per acre to a Chicago corporation to pay for the construction of a new state capitol building. This new ranch, the XIT, covered parts of 10 counties across the Texas Panhandle, and was fenced with over 3,000 miles of barbed wire. A ranch the size of the historic XIT deserves a museum all its own, a courtesy provided by the Plains Trail Region community of Dalhart. Appropriately named the “XIT Museum”, the historic venue is sponsored by the Dallam-Hartley County Historical Association and archives a remarkable collection of XIT Ranch artifacts and interpretive exhibits. In addition, the museum features several period rooms including an early pioneer kitchen, a living room, and chapel. Other permanent exhibits highlight the area’s wildlife, a history of the railroad in the Panhandle, and a special exhibition on the long line of Dallam-Hartley county Sheriffs. But the XIT doesn’t end with the past. The museum sponsors a robust schedule of education and community outreach programs designed to bring history alive.