Medicine Mound Depot Restaurant
The Medicine Mound Depot Restaurant, housed in this historic depot moved to its present site along US 287 in Quanah, is now back in business after a vacancy during which this photo was taken.
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--once a week 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 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!  
1909 Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway Depot
Many consider the 1909 Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway Depot to be one of the finest examples of the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style in the state.
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Hardeman County, Texas
Hardeman County, Texas 
Click to download a map of the Texas Plains Trail Region (pdf) 
THE ROLLING RED RIVER COUNTRY that is now Hardeman County was once the territory of Lipan Apaches and later Comanches and Kiowas. On account of its isolation and its domination by Indians, settlement came late to the area and even then, cattle rustling across the river thrived as a major industry. (Author and attorney Bill Neal-also chronicler of the county's history in The Last Frontier: The Story of Hardeman County-tells of the lawless days in this part of Texas in such accounts as Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings and Celebrated Trials and From Guns to Gavels: How Justice Grew Up in the Outlaw West). The Fort Worth and Denver Railway surveyed the area in 1885, five years after the county was organized, and in 1890 Quanah became the county seat in an election perhaps swayed by railroad crews eligible as resident voters by virtue of having laundry done in a town for six weeks.
Quanah Parker
Quanah Parker

 The city of Quanah was named for Comanche chief Quanah Parker, son of Peta Nocona and kidnapped Anglo settler Cynthia Ann Parker. Today the post office captures the town's birth in a 1938 mural by noted artist Jerry Bywaters, featuring Chief Quanah and a frontiersman against a panoramic background. The city also honors Quanah Parker with a granite monument beside the Beaux Arts 1908 Hardeman County Courthouse. In 1903 the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway was built to Quanah from Oklahoma City, giving the county direct access to St. Louis and points east, and in 1910 the Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railroad opened a rail link with the West, launching a population boom that continued until the Great Depression. Today Hardeman County thrives on agriculture and cattle ranching, and while the QA&P no longer runs, an appreciation for the past runs high throughout the region.
(Information from, Texas Atlas of Historic Sites)

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 35 listings in Hardeman County. Click and explore for history on your desktop! 
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Founded  1858
County seat  Quanah
Population  4,139

Communities    Chillicothe, Goodlett, North Groesbeck, Quanah, Punkin Center; ghost towns of Acme, Medicine Mound 

Mascots   Chillicothe Eagles, Quanah Indians 

Hardeman County was formed in 1858 from Fannin County and named for early Matagorda legislators (and brothers) Bailey and Thomas Jones Hardeman. 




Quanah Parker Trail arrow, Quanah, Texas
It's only fitting to begin your Hardeman County journey at the Quanah Parker Trail giant arrow marker in the city named for the famous chief. The arrow is situated on the grounds of the Quanah Acme & Pacific Railroad Depot Museum beside the railroad tracks at 102 Mercer Street, where you'll find artifacts from the rich, intertwined history of community and railroad. (Get a glimpse of the Fred Holland model railroad layouts now on display in the museum.) The Hardeman County Jail Museum, nearby at 105 Green Street, tells other aspects of city and county history in a Texas landmark building.
The Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railroad Depot
The Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railroad Depot, now a museum, is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Along downtown Quanah's brick-paved streets, you'll see evidence of the bustling business and industry center this town once was-and the center of history and hospitality it's becoming again. The Hardeman County Courthouse was recently rededicated following a multi-million-dollar restoration. At the Thompson-Sawyer Library you can view the impressive Jerry Bywaters mural illustrating the region's history.

Hardeman County Courthouse 
Hardeman County Courthouse
The three-story building at the main intersection in Chillicothe is the design of R. H. Stuckey, an Indiana-born Chillicothe architect. Stuckey also designed the Hardeman County Courthouse, the Presbyterian Church in Quanah, and the Methodist Church in Chillicothe, three buildings with dome-shaped cupolas-and all Texas Recorded Landmarks.

Quanah and Chillicothe, located along busy US Highway 287, offer numerous eating and shopping establishments. But don't miss the opportunity to also pull in at Valley Pecans in Chillicothe, where you'll find much more than nuts. Edibles and collectibles fill several rooms of this locavore landmark!
Rustic Relics, US 287 Valley Pecans, US 287

Also along US 287, at Goodlett, is the Ole Town Cotton Gin RV Park, with its own museum occupying the 1904 gin building on the site. The Goodlett Gym building and the Goodlett Cemetery are other remnants of this once thriving community.

No visit to appreciate the Native American history of this region is complete without a trip to the ghost town of Medicine Mound, where the Downtown Medicine Mound Museum is now open within view of the four sacred hills-considered to have magical powers-that give the site its name.


Copper Breaks State Park, located south of Quanah along State Road 6, is a great place for learning history -- and for camping, fishing, hiking, and especially stargazing. As one of the few International Dark Skies locations in North America, the park offers regular guided Star Walks on new-moon nights. Rangers David Turner and Carl Hopper talk knowledgeably about subjects from paleo-Indian cultures to the uses of bison, to Comanche and Kiowa history and the Red River War, to the flora and fauna of the park. Oh, and did we mention you can kiss a longhorn, part of the official Texas state herd? Be sure to ask Ranger Turner about that one.

Copper Breaks State Park, Quanah, Texas
Copper Breaks State Park, Quanah, Texas
















September 12: 32nd Annual Fall Festival


September 11-12: Quanah All School Reunion 

There will be general visitation Friday night with Business meeting and election of officers Saturday morning. Reunion Banquet@ Three Rivers Ball Room (downtown Quanah). Football game when they can be scheduled. Held in conjunction with Quanah Fall Festival.


October 22-25: Texas Country Air 

Sponsored by Wally Byam Carvan Club International Region 9 Texas Plains Unit & Three Rivers Foundation.

Events: Arrival of Airstream vehicles on Thursday, tours of museums, newly restored Hardeman County Courthouse, downtown, with banquets, visiting, music, displays, seminars, auto truck and tractor shows, outside grilling and other activities are scheduled. Contact Quanah Chamber of Commerce, 940-663-2222.  


December 5: 18th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade

Parade starts at 6 pm with festivities during the day and merchants will be open late for shopping with an old time Christmas flair. A community banquet follows the parade.

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  Hardeman 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 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
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TX Highway 52 "52" TRIVIA TIME

Fewer than 52 days remain before our 2015 Texas Plains Trail Tourism & Preservation Roundup Aug. 12-13 in Lubbock, featuring renowned photographers Wyman Meinzer and Griff Smith -- and your chance to help shape our Region's heritage tourism future. Register now!  

Hardeman County License Plate
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 And please with your Texas traveling friends!
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Texas Time Travel posters
[Hey, we're caught up again!]

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.

Congratulations to all our weekly winners so far. We have only a few of these collectible poster sets to give away!

Next week's county was once part of the enormous XIT Ranch spread and to this day helps celebrate the region's cattle-ranching heritage with one of the biggest rodeo events in the state each summer. Be the first to name the county to win a set of posters!
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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 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.

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.