Harmony Plains Singing School, Cone
Each summer the Primitive Baptist denomination holds its Singing School at the former Cone School (1923).
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
A sculpture depicting J. W. Murray's high-wheeled bicycle, Crosby County Pioneer Museum, Crosbyton
Sculpture depicting J. W. Murray's high-wheeled bicycle, Crosby County Pioneer Museum, Crosbyton
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 2015 for our Texas Fifty-Two-Step Tour--every Wednesday online, and in person whenever you're ready to hit the road! Follow along with a different county each week, 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!  
Wayne J. Parker Center for the Study of Native American Cultures
Visitors peruse the rich array of Indian artifacts at the Crosby County Pioneer Museum's Wayne J. Parker Center for the Study of Native American Cultures, Crosbyton
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Crosby County Texas

Crosby County TX 
Click to download a map of the Texas Plains Trail Region (pdf) 
Estacado, the first seat of justice on the Texas Plains, was founded in 1879 by a group of English Quakers under leadership of Paris Cox, who had brought fellow settlers to the region in 1876 after admiring Hank and Elizabeth Smith's Rock House in Blanco Canyon--the first permanent settlement on the Plains. Cox first named his new town Marietta in honor of his wife but had to choose a different, unduplicated, name when a post office was established in October 1881. Ten other surrounding counties were attached to Estacado for judicial purposes, though court originally had to be held in half dugouts or shacks until a courthouse was built in 1887. Other buildings soon sprang up, including stores, a school, and a junior college.
Hank Smith's Rock House, Blanco Canyon
Hank Smith's Rock House, Blanco Canyon (photo from Portal to Texas History)

The previous year newspaper publisher J. W. Murray of Hardeman County, read an advertisement that the Quaker Colony in Estacado was in need of a town newspaper. Murray and his oldest son, Hal, pedaled ther "velocipedes"--bicycles--130 miles to scout out the opportunity. Finding the location suitable, Murray launched the Crosby County News, the sole newspaper in 22,000 square miles. But in 1891 another settlement, Emma, won the election as county seat but 6 votes, and buildings, including the newspaper office and the courthouse, were dismantled and moved to the new site. Alas, a similar fate awaited Emma when, in 1910, the South Plains Railroad bypassed it by five miles. The county seat was moved to Crosbyton, and most of Emma's buildings were moved in a caravan to their new sites. (The old courthouse was used as housing for a time and then demolished.) Today the Crosby County Pioneer Museum tells these, and many other, moving stories.  
(Information from tshaonline.org and The History of Crosby County, 1876-1977)

Texas Historical Commission HISTORICAL MARKERS AND SITES   The Texas Historical Commission's online Texas Historical Sites Atlas  guides you to locations and information on museums, cemeteries, military sites, historical markers, national register properties, and more--including 60 listings in Crosby County. 
Click and explore for history on your desktop! 
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Founded  1876  County seat  Crosbyton
Population  6,059
Communities   Canyon Valley    Cone   Crosbyton   Estacado   Kalgary    Lorenzo   Ralls
Mascot  Crosbyton Chiefs   Lorenzo Hornets   Ralls Jackrabbits

DID YOU KNOW?  TxDOT's Safety Rest Area on US Highway 82 eastbound, east of Crosbyton, provides restrooms and free Wi-Fi access 24 hours a day, as well as a scenic picnic spot overlooking the historic Silver Falls site.

Coming from Lubbock on US 82, you'll arrive first in the agricultural communities of Crosby County Lorenzo and Ralls, both situated along the railroad route that was the reason for their founding. Extensive fields, whether freshly tilled in spring, lush with crop growth in summer, white and snow with cotton bolls in late fall, or stark after cotton stripping in winter, draw the eye to the horizon. Playa lakes dot the landscape, providing a haven for birds.

The Ralls Historical Museum, housed in the former Ralls Bank building, is available for tours by appointment; call 806-253-2766.

As you arrive in the county seat of Crosbyton, you'll start to appreciate the charm of its Victorian and bungalow-style houses, its brick streets with the courthouse at the center, and its charming older storefronts and murals. The city's slogan is "Where the 19th Century Meets the 21st Century," and the contrast between its historic structures and the many wind turbines rising against the sky is evidence it's true.

Stop in at the Prairie Ladies' Cultural Center on the square, the home of the Chamber of Commerce at 124 South Berkshire, to see exhibits from the early organization the restored building is named for.

Set aside plenty of time for a visit to the
the Crosby County Pioneer Museum, which
Crosby County Pioneer Museum 
Crosby County Pioneer Museum
houses both a community center and some 45,000 artifacts culled from local history.
Established in 1958 in a replica of the Hank Smith house, the museum displays a comprehensive collection of Native American tools and artworks, as well as an early-20th-century Brush Automobile, a diorama of Blanco Canyon, and other exhibits documenting 700 years of tradition and culture. The museum is an excellent source of information on the Battle of Blanco Canyon, where the U.S. Army and Quanah Parker's band of Comanches fought in October 1871.

Adjacent to the museum is the Wayne J. Parker Center for the Study of Native American Cultures, a facility dedicated to the exhibition of artifacts gathered by historians and archeologists Choice Smith and Wayne Parker.

"Across the street from the Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum," reads the travel website of LubbockInTheLoop, "is one of the most unusual and quirky museums in Texas. The Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum is the life work of Joe Taylor.  It is a museum of prehistoric fossils found in a life full of digs. It contains his casting workshop, and an art studio.  Joe worked in L.A. in the 1960's and 1970's, painting large signs of album covers for advertising display.  He has saved many of them and they form a visual narrative of the times.  Today, Joe casts replicas of fossils and of complete dinosaurs for museum collections." Taylor's work can also be seen on historical murals throughout the area.

Quanah Parker Trail, Crosbyton, TX
A 2014 motor coach tour group was only one of many to stop for a photo beside the 22-foot-tall Quanah Parker Trail arrow -- with a replica of Chief Quanah himself!

You'll easily spot the giant arrow marker for the Quanah Parker Trail on the museum grounds. There's another in the city's Pioneer Park just east of town, where there are RV hookups and a swimming pool. (And if you're not prepared to lodge overnight on wheels, consider reserving a room at the delightful Smith House Inn Bed & Breakfast on West Aspen Street, a boarding house since its original construction in 1921.

The roads out from town offer canyon vistas that evoke Coronado's time, or the years when Col. Ranald Mackenzie pursued Quanah Parker and the Quahanda Comanches onto the Llano Estacado.


The annual Cotton Boll Fest is slated for Sept. 12, 2015, in historic Ralls.
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  Crosby County card
Our Texas Fifty-Two-Step Deck of Cards is a sweet deal to help plan your trip. Pre-order yours now--each face summarizes a different county's travel highlights. $5.95 per deck (plus tax & shipping), in 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!

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

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" TRIVIA TIME

The 1937 United Artists film musical 52nd Street, directed by Harold Young and produced by Walter Wanger, starring Leo Carrillo, Ian Hunter, Ella Logan, ZaSu Pitts.tells how the street became New York's nightclub row in the 1930s. 


Crosby County TX
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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Texas Time Travel posters
It's quiz time! We've got great prizes to share.

To win a full set of these attractive 24 x 30 Texas Heritage Trails posters, suitable for framing, be the first to email us with the correct identification of this place, located in next week's featured county.

Next week's location is the northernmost county in Texas, and its county seat lies partly in a neighboring county. Name the county and its seat to win a prize!

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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.

Be watching for an announcement about our May 2, 2015 (5/2, get it?) tourism event to kick off National Travel & Tourism Week, focusing on the value of tourism to our nation, state, and region.

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 Texas Plains Trail Region. All Rights Reserved.