On a rainy summer morning we decided to jump into the truck and take a drive to the border of Texas and Oklahoma, near the Red River, for a little history lesson on the Chisholm Trail and Red River Station.
Making our way to the Red River border we first visited Saint Jo, the oldest town in Montague County, has a population of around, 883. St. Jo's historical Chisholm Trail Square commemorates the famous cattle trail which drove livestock through Saint Jo to the north and into Kansas. Many of the buildings along the square have been renovated and now hold museums, restaurants, gift shops and art galleries.
Red River Station, a trading post on the Red River, was near Saint Jo. In the post-Civil War period, this post became the southern terminus of the Chisholm Trail. As ranchers undertook cattle drives to get their cattle to railheads in Kansas and then shipped East, where they could command high prices. Cowboys were the chief customers for saloons and hotels in the area. Eventually railroads were constructed into Texas, ending the cattle drives to Kansas, and drawing off business along the trail.
Near the town of Saint Jo lies, Nocona,Texas. Also located in Montague County, Nocona has a population of around 3000. Another stop on the Chisholm Trail, Nocona has views of the past, present, and future. This area is home to great historical sites, museums wineries, unique art galleries, a gorgeous lake, golf courses, and some good delicious BBQ!
Spanish Fort, a Texas ghost town, is near the town of Nocona. At its peak, the town had numerous businesses and churches, a Masonic lodge, five physicians, four hotels, and several saloons. Spanish Fort became known as a very rough and tumble cowboy town, and at least 40 murders are said to have occurred during the cattle drive heyday. The 20th century saw Spanish Fort almost completely vanish. The post office, school, and newspapers all had closed by 1970. Even the oil boom in Nocona's North Field could not save Spanish Fort, and the town has maintained a population of around 50 ever since.
We had a great time exploring the area around the Red River in North Texas and taking in all its history. If you'd like to see more of our little day trip then visit us on YouTube by clicking the link below!
Red River Punch
1 ½ oz Vodka
½ oz Lemon juice
½ oz Simple syrup
Muddle raspberries in a shaker with the vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup. Double strain into a wine glass and top with soda water. Garnish with raspberries.
|Red River Punch|