DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — We had a fun time visiting the Boot Hill Museum Thursday at noon. Thank you for making us feel so welcome.
Dodge City is among the most famous city names in Kansas, reminding visitors about our Wild West history.
Before it was settled, the area was home to Kiowa, Cheyenne and other Plains tribes. Then came wagon trains full of settlers along the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Dodge was built in 1865 to help protect the wagon trains.
In 1871, a ranger built a sod house five miles from the fort. Buffalo hunters and traders would frequently stop at the house. It became the first building in the town of Dodge City, which was founded one year later. With the railroad’s arrival, more businesses came, including stores, a dance hall, and a saloon next to the sod house.
But Dodge City did not have law enforcement. Fights between soldiers, railroad workers, buffalo hunters and others would lead to shootings. Men would die with their boots on. That is why the cemetery became known as Boot Hill.
The town eventually hired law officers, and their names became famous – Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman, and Charlie Bassett.
Their legacy and that of the cattle drives became fodder for the entertainment industry. Movies, books and television shows inspire thousands of people every year to visit the Boot Hill Museum and Front Street, where you can find live reenactments.
Present-day Dodge City is the county seat of Ford County. The town has a population of just over 27,000 and provides economic and entertainment options for many in southwest Kansas. The livestock industry provides many jobs for those in the community. One of four state-owned casinos is in Dodge City, the Boot Hill Casino.
Things to do in Dodge City:
- Visitor Information Center, 400 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd.
- Fort Dodge
- Dodge City Days – July 28-August 1
- Boot Hill Museum
- Boot Hill Casino and Resort
- 3i Show – March of 2022
- Dodge City Raceway Park
- Dodge City Roundup Rodeo – Aug. 3-8
- Wright Park Zoo
- Santa Fe Trail
- Main Street Dodge City
- Long Branch Lagoon Water Park
- Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame
- Liberty Garden
- Historic Trolley Tours
- Historic Dodge City Walking Tour
- Gunfighters Wax Museum
- Ford County Legacy Center
- Depot Theater
- Dodge City Trail of Fame
Community & Government: