A Growing Panhandle Legacy (Spring 2024)

A large Victorian ranch house
Goodnight Ranch House, Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site

Past Matters Spring 2024; posted on 2/16/2024

By Lindsay Adams, Site Manager of Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site

Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight left a legacy of invention, conservation, and community in Texas. Their deeds reverberated in the national idea of the West. The Texas Historical Commission proudly conserves a piece of their namesake ranch and their beautiful Victorian home in the Panhandle of Texas. Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site is bustling with activity for the new year: 2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the Red River War, the Friends of Goodnight Ranch is up and running, and we have welcomed new members to our site!

Goodnight Ranch SHS will be hosting a bevy of programs, guest speakers, and events this coming year. We are thrilled to announce that guests will be able to tune in to some of these presentations from the comfort of their homes via the internet. Our programs will take guests through the players, movements, and politics before, during, and the aftermath of a contentious time in the Texas Panhandle. Some of these events include a presentation from a Native American storyteller and a partial viewing of the new Ken Burns Documentary The American Buffalo. Our program schedule will roll out on Facebook and on our site’s events calendar in February.

The Friends of Goodnight Ranch is now open for membership. For as little as $10 a year, you can become a supporting member. You can also lend your support by joining our tiered giving circle (annual membership included). Being a Friend of Goodnight Ranch SHS means supporting the continuing preservation of the site as well as promoting the story of Charles and Molly to more people every day. For more information, please check out the Friends of Goodnight Ranch website (insert hyperlink).

The “Castle on the Prairie” community has grown by two. The site has received an additional educator to expand our outreach programs and on-site event schedule. Our other additional member goes by the name of “Pete”. Pete is a 1909 Peter Schuttler Chuckwagon. Acquired late last year, Pete is rolled out for programming and demonstrations to show the clever capabilities of a Chuckwagon on the trail. Charles Goodnight’s original outfitted chuckwagon was an army surplus Studebaker. Later he modified I other wagons to fit his every adapting needs. Pete reflects the cumulation of Goodnight’s Chuckwagon inventiveness. Pete will be featured in our Spring Event, A Taste of Ranch Life, May 18th.

And finally, we are excited about the potential opportunity of expanding the footprint of the site to include additional adjacent acreage that is critical in terms of the archeological resources it holds, as well as the viewshed it will preserve from state Highway 287. We look forward to bringing additional news about this to you in the near future.

We hope you’ll tune in or stop by to see the Goodnight Ranch SHS and help us tell the real stories of Goodnight Ranch. For questions about programming, Friends Group membership, or site developments, reach out to the Site Manager Lindsay Adams via email Lindsay.adams@thc.texas.gov or by work cell (806) 670-5613.