Chisholm Trail history in Enid, Oklahoma

Chisholm Trail Coalition

The Story Of The Chisholm Trail Coalition

    In 2006, Errol & Sonya Wofford were taking people on bus tours up and down the Chisholm Trail to Caldwell, Kansas, and to Duncan, Oklahoma.   After going on the Historical Tour in Caldwell, they started thinking that Enid has as much, or more, history in their downtown as Caldwell does.

     Enid has a unique place in Oklahoma history.  The city was ground zero for the Oklahoma land rush of 1893 that opened the Cherokee Strip to thousands of settlers. Along the way, the City of Enid became home to a wealth of history and Western folklore.

     The Woffords talked to Bob Klemme, a noted local historian, who mentioned that he had tried to put together a walking tour of Enid, but was never able to get it off the ground.  Sonya started calling several people in Enid, and asked them if they wanted to help organize a walking tour that might bring visitors to Enid. The first meeting was held at Marilyn K's Kitchen.  The group developed a name for the organization, chose historic sites to visit, and started recruiting  people for re-enactment characters.  A set of by-laws was developed, and officers and a board of directors were elected.

     The first tours were started in 2007 by a dedicated group of volunteers who bring our rich heritage to life through re-enactments, and an interactive walking tour through the historic streets of downtown Enid.  The Chisholm Trail Coalition, which takes its name in part from the famed Chisholm Trail that ran from Texas to Kansas in the late 1800's, is a non-profit group comprised of local business people and town boosters, who gather on the third Saturday of each month to become not just tour guides, but the very characters profiled on the tour.

     We are just letting the tour continue to grow, and saving our money in order to eventually look for a matching grant, so that we can expand the Chisholm Trail Coalition.  Our goal is to be able to buy an old trolley, or similar vehicle that would hold about 25 people, so we can expand our tours to include a visit to the old Enid Cemetery on Willow Street,  which is the final resting place for some of our most notorious residents.  This would be called the "Tombstone Tales" and of course, we would have re-enactment characters come out from behind each tombstone, and tell their story.  When we start getting more bus tours to come, we will eventually expand to include Simpson's Old Time Museum or the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, and will provide a chuck wagon meal and entertainment.

CHISHOLM TRAIL COALITION • 122 N. INDEPENDENCE • ENID, OKLAHOMA 73701 • (580) 242-2233

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