Quanah Parker Trail arrow installation_ Earth_ Texas_ 2014

ARROWS IN THE EARTH: Lamb County is home to the largest number of Quanah Parker Trail steel arrows in the Texas Plains Trail Region. In 2014, arrows were installed at sites of Native American history in the communities of Olton, Sudan, and Earth as well as in the county seat of Littlefield.
Texas Fifty-Two-Step Tour
THE 52-COUNTY TEXAS PLAINS TRAIL is the largest of the ten Heritage Trails Regions of Texas, an award-winning heritage tourism initiative of the Texas Historical Commission. We help you discover the real places that tell the real stories of Texas -- places you'll want to explore on vacations, road trips, hikes, weekend excursions with your family and friends.

We invite you to join us throughout the year for our Texas Fifty-Two-Step Tour online, and in person whenever you're ready to hit the road! Follow along with a different county each issue, from Armstrong to Yoakum. Visit us at TexasPlainsTrail.com to plan your adventure by city, site, theme, or event. Watch your e-mail newsletter weekly for fun facts, games, prizes, and travel ideas.

Download our THC regional travel guide here (pdf).
And we'll see you along the trail!  
Waymore_s_ Littlefield_ TX
NATIVE SON: Waymore's, in downtown Littlefield, is way more than your average liquor and convenience store -- it's a veritable hometown museum of all things Waylon. Stop in and chat with the late musician's brother James, and learn what inspired the outlaw country legend and his songs.
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Lamb County_ Texas
 

PUTTING THE "FUN" IN FUNDRAISING: The Littlefield Lands-Duggan House Museum has invited friends to a summertime wine tasting annually to support its operations. Patrons enjoy beverages and refreshments while viewing exhibits and reconnecting with friends. (Click on the photo for an armchair travelogue of the museum). 

 
Click to download a map of the Texas Plains Trail Region _pdf_
 
FOLLOW THE DIAGONAL TRAJECTORY OF US 84
northwest out of Lubbock, and in half an hour or so you'll come to a wide, dry, flat region of the high plains where fields of cotton and corn stretch away to the horizon. Roughly paralleling the highway a bit to the north is the Blackwater Draw, the relict course of the North Fork of the Brazos River that makes its ancient way across the sandy soils.
Viewing the Blue Sandhills south of Olton you might expect the West Texas wind to simply blow the exposed dunes clear to Austin . . . and in fact, it's the gradual migration of the earth here that gives the formation, and the local history museum, their name: the Sand Crawl.

Sand Crawl Museum_ Olton

SEEKING HOMESEEKERS: The Soash Land Company advertised West Texas lands to Midwesterners, encouraging agricultural settlement in Olton, "The Coming City." (Poster on exhibit at the Sand Crawl Museum, Olton)

The woolly mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger followed the watercourse in prehistoric times; later, vast herds of North American bison grazed, pursued by Apache and Comanche hunters. The Quanah Parker Trail of giant arrows, which identify and honor sites of Native American history, calls attention to the numerous places throughout this portion of the plains. Five arrows, including three smaller-scale sculptures, can be found in Lamb County locations.

With the removal of Indians onto Oklahoma reservations in the 1870s, and the near-extermination of the buffalo, newcomers saw opportunity. First came the cattle ranches, with the 3 million-acre XIT extending to its southern limit in Lamb County. The C. C. Slaughter spread occupied parts of Lamb and three other counties, and it was Slaughter who by 1908 sold much of his acreage for farm development by Iowa speculator William P. Soash.

Soash pioneered promotions like a house magazine and enticing advertisements, and he organized excursion trains to bring prospects to West Texas. Likewise, George P. Littlefield (later a major donor to the University of Texas) turned the sections of the XIT range that he had acquired into the Littlefield Lands development
Lamb County was organized in 1908 with Olton as its seat, a role it retained until shifting population trends led to a move to Littlefield in 1946.

Sand Crawl Museum_ Olton 
KEEPING HISTORY ALIVE: Olton's Sand Crawl Museum preserves Lamb County's rich history of ranching, agriculture, and daily life. It shares a downtown building with the county library, providing regular opportunities for visitors to take advantage of both facilities. (Click on the photo for an armchair travelogue of the museum.) 
 

Today, Littlefield and the other communities of Lamb County remain largely agricultural -- though the signs of the past are there to be read in old buildings and ghost murals, back roads and ranch signs throughout its 1,000-odd square miles.  Music events such as the midsummer Littlefield Celebration continue to serve up family fun in the city park, and high school sports provide an entertainment spectacle through spring.  Mark your calendars, too, for Olton's Sandhills Celebration, July 31-August 3, 2019. 

 

Texas Historical Commission HISTORICAL MARKERS AND SITES   The Texas Historical Commission's online Texas Historic Sites Atlas guides you to locations and information on museums, cemeteries, military sites, historical markers, national register properties, and more--including 35 listings in Lamb County. Click and explore for history on your desktop!
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Sudan Hornets LAMB COUNTY QUICK FACTS
Organized  1908
County seat  Littlefield
Population   13,997 (2010)
Towns and communities    Littlefield, Olton, Earth, Sudan Hornets, Amherst, Springlake; Spade, Fieldton, Circle, Cofferville
Mascots   Littlefield Wildcats, Springlake-Earth Mighty Wolverines, Sudan Hornets 

Littlefield lays claim to the world's tallest windmill - 132 feet tall. Visit the replica (which is a few feet shorter) erected in 1969 near the Santa Fe Depot along US 84, or read more about the tower's history in Mike Cox's detailed account.

WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO
START YOUR LAMB COUNTY VISIT in the northeastern corner, driving due west from Plainview on US Highway 70 to the heart of the original county seat of Olton. You might time your trip to catch a flick at the classic 1940s Roxy Theater, after a little shopping at main street boutiques and a visit to the Sand Crawl Museum.

Roxt Theater_ Olton_ Texas
Roxy Theater, Olton, Texas (photo from CinemaTreasures.org)

Continuing west on US 70 will bring you to the towns of Springlake and Earth, where you can search out the Quanah Parker arrow and a bite to eat. Travel a bit farther along 70 and turn south on Farm-to-Market Road 1055, heading due south across Blackwater Draw to Sudan (pronounced SOO-dan, for the variety of grass used primarily for silage). As you drive through town or along US 84, note the interesting cut-metal street signs, each with a custom design.


Sudan_ Texas_ Home of the Horneets
Water tower_ Littlefield
 
US 84 will take you southeast through the cattle-feeding town of Amherst into Littlefield. Look first for the railroad depot and the windmill and water-tower landmarks, then follow the diagonal street layout to Waymore's Liquor Store at 901 Hall Avenue. After getting a dose of country music history -- and whatever else you stopped in for -- you'll be fully primed to appreciate the reconstructed radio studio at the Littlefield Lands-Duggan House Museum. (It's wise to call ahead, as hours are irregular and you might also need directions to find the museum, which is located in a residential area, but the exhibits are worth it.


CLASSIC AIRWAVES: Littlefield's KVOW radio station - complete with recording deck, mics, and signed wall tiles - is recreated in one room of the Duggan House. 

Map of XIT Lands_ Littlefield

The XIT Ranch sprawled across more than 3 million acres of West Texas along the New Mexico border, with its southernmost division in Lamb County. 
The museum also focuses on the history of the XIT and other ranches, and on schools, churches, and other institutions of the city and region.

Last on your Littlefield exploration is the city park, right down the street from a great place to park your trailer for the night at the Waylon Jennings RV Park -- for free. Littlefield offers numerous eateries and places to gas up before you continue your journey.







Littlefield Lands-Duggan House Museum
THROUGH THE GATES: The grounds of the Littlefield Lands-Duggan House Museum are inviting and shady in summer.

Waylong Jennings RV Park  
  

A WINNING HAND FOR YOUR TEXAS PLAINS TRAIL ADVENTURE
Texas Fifty-Two-Step deck of playing cards  

Our Texas Fifty-Two-Step Deck of Cards is a sweet deal to help plan your trip.   Order yours now--each face summarizes a different county's travel highlights. $10 per deck (including tax & shipping), in shrink-wrapped custom tuck box. Keep a deck in the glove compartment. Or use them in your favorite game of Texas Hold 'Em or Fifty-Two-Card Pickup!

NOW AVAILABLE
Retailers and Texas Plains Trail partners, please contact us at 806.747.1997 or info@TexasPlainsTrail.com for bulk sales and shipping.




'52 DeSOTO PHOTO FUN
Flat 52 Car Cutout As you travel the 52 counties of the Texas Plains Trail Region, take our Plains Trail kids and dog along with you -- in our #C52NTX 1952 DeSoto Ragtop (pdf). Download and print the graphic on heavy paper on your own color printer. Cut along the dashed line. Then glue a stir stick or popsicle stick to the back -- and feature it in your photos of destinations all around the region. Along the way, share your pix to www.Facebook.com/TexasPlainsTrail
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TX Highway 52 52-Card Pickup "52" TRIVIA TIME
52 pickup or 52-card pickup, according to Wikipedia. is a practical joke using a standard deck of 52 playing cards. While written records start later, the website claims, the prank appears to have been played among children as early as the middle of the 20th century.  

FOLLOW US ON THE TRAIL . . . AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Like us on Facebook for regular event and travel updates. "See 52 in Texas" and discover great destinations by following our #C52NTX hashtag on Twitter, and statewide travel info on #TexasToDo. For driving and weather conditions, visit www.DriveTexas.org. And please with your Texas traveling friends!
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WHERE IN THE REGION? COMING UP NEXT WEEK

It's quiz time! We've got great prizes to share.

To win a nifty Texas Plains Trail Region keychain, be the first to email us with the correct identification of this place, located in next week's featured county.

Congratulations to all our weekly winners so far.

Our next county is featured on the cover of the recent book "Hometown Texas" with photographs by Peter Brown and stories by Joe Holley. And here's another hint: it's located in a far corner of the Panhandle. Now, if that isn't enough information to help you guess what's coming, well . . . just stay tuned for the answer!
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PARTNER AND DESTINATION REMINDER
Partners, do take this opportunity to review your community, site, and event information on our Texas Plains Trail website as well as your own sites. We'll want to add your photos, update any obsolete contact info, add your events, and enhance your text content before your week comes up.   Consult the Texas Fifty-Two-Step schedule (pdf), and email with me with updates or questions.

Did you know you can add your own events to the TexasTimeTravel.com website? You'll need event name, date and time, location and address, and contact info -- and for best results, a photo. Post your festivals and heritage events now!

Like those Texas Fifty-Two-Step county license plate graphics? They are available free to partners for promotional use. Click and scroll down to select, then download your desired images. Please credit Texas Plains Trail/Tomato Graphics.

Our campaign has been designed by a team of creative minds. Our thanks go to Rock Langston of Tomato Graphics, Amarillo, for the design of campaign components and to Stephanie Price of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, for the #C52NTX concept. Barbara Brannon is responsible for copywriting and the weekly newsletter. Photo credits: 1952 blue Chevy Styleline, Hemmings Motor News; 1952 red DeSoto, Daniel Schmitt & Co.; 1952 blue Chevy rear 3/4 view, Walt Pinkston.

DID YOU MISS AN ISSUE?
Every week's issue is archived on our website.   Click here and scroll to search and download your county!
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Texas Plains Trail Region | 806.747.1997 | E-mail | Website
Barbara A. Brannon, Executive Director

Copyright © 2015-18 Texas Plains Trail Region. All Rights Reserved.