Buggy ride at Lamesa Chicken Fried Steak Festival
Lamesa's Chicken Fried Steak Festival takes place in the city's shady Forrest Park each summer, offering a variety of activities for all ages throughout the weekend.
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 2015 for our Texas Fifty-Two-Step Tour--every City of Lamesa logo 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!  
Historic Lamesa and Dawson County welcome visitors from far and wide.
Historic Lamesa and Dawson County welcome visitors from far and wide.
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Dawson County Texas
 
Dawson County Texas 
Click to download a map of the Texas Plains Trail Region (pdf) 
THE HEADWATERS OF THE MIGHTY COLORADO --  
the longest in river Texas with both source and mouth in the state -- rise from a modest and remote spring
in Dawson County, gathering flow and width as the watercourse passes from there through the hill country, Austin, and the coastal plain on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. The Indians always knew water could be found here; as the Handbook of Texas Online recounts, "The area was the summer home of Comanches and Kiowas, who moved from waterhole to waterhole in a region that white men supposed waterless." In 1875 a US Army company under the command of Col. Rufus Shafter discovered an Indian encampment at Laguna Sabinas or Cedar Lake, the legendary birthplace of Quanah Parker, but the Comanches escaped. After decimation of the buffalo herds on which the Native tribes depended, ranchers arrived with their massive cattle herds, and later farming settlers and the railroad moved in. A vote to select among two options for a county seat -- Lamesa and the nearby town of Chicago, named half in jest in recognition of the considerable energies its citizens had put forth in building it -- was held in 1905, and Chicago of Dawson County was no more. Today the region is largely agricultural, with Dawson County leading the state in cotton production, primarily from irrigated fields, in some years, but oil has become important as well. Traces of Lamesa's important railroad role, and its ancient water sources, are readily appreciated by visitors. 
(Information from tshaonline.org and Wikipedia)

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 21 listings in Dawson County.  Click and explore for history on your desktop! 
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DAWSON COUNTY QUICK FACTS
Founded  1876  County seat  Lamesa
Population  13,833

Communities   Ackerly   Klondike   Lamesa   Los Ybanez   O'Donnell   Patricia   Welch 

Mascots  Dawson Dragons    Klondike Cougars    Lamesa Golden Tornadoes   Sands (Ackerly) Mustangs

DID YOU KNOW?  Lamesa is the birthplace of some famous Texas figures: Actor and Western Heritage Award winner Barry Corbin was born there, son of a judge who went on to serve in the Texas Senate and was unseated in 1956 by Preston Smith, also a Lamesa High School graduate, who served as governor of Texas from 1969 to 1973.

WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO

Lamesa Area Chamber of Commerce 
Lamesa Area Chamber of Commerce
BEGIN YOUR
EXPLORATION OF DAWSON COUNTY with a stop at the Lamesa Chamber of Commerce, handily located on the courthouse square. You can pick up maps and information to help you find your way out to the crossroads where the Colorado River begins.

But don't leave Lamesa without a visit to the Dawson County Courthouse, with its impressive historical murals, and a walk around the brick-paved streets surrounding it. A few blocks over is the Dal Paso Museum, housed in the former grand hotel that was once a railway stopover between Dallas and El Paso.

                                                               Drop in for a bite at
your choice of excellent
Dawson County Courthouse mural
Courthouse mural, Lamesa 
Tex-Mex restaurants, or the locally connected K-Bob's Steak House. (Be sure to sample the chicken fried steak at one of Lamesa's local eateries!) For dessert, pick up locally made pralines at Jeanne's Fancy Pecans, 311 South 1st St., also available in other retail outlets.
Lamesa's Tower Theatre, on the square
Lamesa's Tower Theatre, on the square

Headwaters of the Colorado River, near the community of Welch on northwest Dawson County

On Lamesa's south side is the inviting 50-acre Lamar Forrest Park, with picnic, playground, volleyball, softball, a brand-new community center, and camping facilities. Park your RV onsite for 4 nights for free, and enjoy the green grass and shade.

Crop irrigation, Dawson County
Agriculture is king in Dawson County.
As you continue south of Lamesa on US 87, you'll come to the family-owned Hispanic community of Los Ybanez, for many years the only liquor store in a dry county and site of a historic CCC migrant workers' camp -- just south of the classic Sky-Vue Drive-In, which still shows movies on weekend nights.

Touring around the county, you can visit the Trice Fish Farms, enjoy the view of the Delaney Vineyards at 113 Hillside Drive, where grapes are grown for one of the state's major winemakers, and the Sam Stevens Farm facility along highway __ where Stevens and his wife have raised Thoroughbred racehorses for more than 35 years. You'll know when you're in the right place -- signs mounted along the fence top honor many of their 51 stakes horses (download a fascinating 2014 article here from Blood Horse magazine).
 
PLAN AHEAD 

The annual Chicken Fried Steak Festival is slated for April 24-26, 2015. Check out the schedule, and bring your appetite -- and your entire family for a multi-day event that includes a chicken-fried steak dinner, a chicken fry cook-off, hot air balloons, a classic car show, vendors, a pet contest, a 5K Fun Color/Glow Run, arts and crafts, and live music.
Lamesa's Chicken Fried Steak Festival 2014
Lamesa's Chicken Fried Steak Festival 2014

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A WINNING HAND FOR YOUR TEXAS PLAINS TRAIL ADVENTURE

  Dawson County Texas
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!

AVAILABLE APRIL 2015
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" TRIVIA TIME

52 Pick-Up (1986) was an action-mystery-thriller film

directed by John Frankenheimer, produced by Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus, and starring Roy Scheider, Ann-Margaret, Vanity, John Glover. It was based on a novel by Elmore Leonard.


FOLLOW US ON THE TRAIL . . . AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Dawson County license tag
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 APRIL 8
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 county  . . .The seat of our April 8 county is nicknamed the Beef Capital of the World. But it's also known as the Town Without a Toothache. Name the county and its seat to win a prize!

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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.

On May 2, 2015 (5/2, get it?) we'll be kicking off National Travel & Tourism Week, in our region with a Hunt for History on Route 66 in Amarillo, focusing on the value of tourism to our nation, state, and region. Watch for details in early April!

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 Texas Plains Trail Region. All Rights Reserved.