Dodge City Walking Tour
This tour is a work in progress- we will add new entries soon.
A combination living history and local history museum, this complex features a number of historic and recreated buildings (including a Santa Fe Railroad Depot, a one-room schoolhouse, and a carriage/Blacksmith's shop), Old West tours and performances, tourist attractions, and museum exhibits. The museum thrills visitors with recreations of the sensationalized gunfights that were featured in the fictional accounts of the era's "dime novels," but also offers exhibits and events that offer a more authentic, if less dramatic, view of life for residents of the Kansas frontier. The museum was founded in 1964.See the Smithsonian traveling exhibition "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" and local exhibit "Respectfully, WB Masterson" at the Boot Hill Museum March 25 through May 7, 2023. For exhibition and event details, contact the Boot Hill Museum directly. Visit humanitieskansas.org for overview of the Kansas tour.
Located next to the Boothill Museum is a statue depicting one of the most famous figures of the American West, John Henry "Doc" Holliday (1851-1887). The statue portrays Holiday sitting at table playing cards with three empty chairs that visitors can sit on. Trained as a dentist, which is how he got his nickname, Holliday was also a skilled gambler, gunfighter, and was a close friend of another famous westerner, U.S. Deputy Marshal Wyatt Earp. Holliday, who was ill-tempered, got into a number of fire fights and is known to have killed at least one or two men. The most famous of these confrontations was the gunfight at O.K. Corral (see below), which occurred on October 26, 1881 in the historic city of Tombstone, Arizona.
Situated along Wyatt Earp Boulevard is this large sculpture that commemorates the Texas longhorns that led cattle north from Texas to Dodge City. The steer that guided the large herds was called El Capitan and it would often make multiple trips. Artist Jasper D'Ambrosi, who was from Tempe, Arizona, created the sculpture in 1980.
Originally built in 1896, the Dodge City Station is a striking Richardsonian Romanesque building that is undoubtedly one of the finer structures in the city. It was built by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF). Architect James C. Holland designed it. Today it serves as an Amtrak station for the Southwest Chief train as well as a theater. Cultural, recreational and social events are also held here. For its association with the railroad and architecture, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
This statue depicts one of the most famous historical figures of American Western history, Wyatt Earp (1848-1929), who was a frontiersman, saloonkeeper, gambler, and lawman. He served as a lawman here in Dodge City in the late 1870s. Earp is perhaps best known for participating in what is probably the most famous gunfight in American history—the gunfight at O.K. Corral, which occurred on October 26, 1881 in the historic town of Tombstone, Arizona. The statue depicts Earp walking at a quick pace, looking to the right and holding his revolver in his right hand and holding his hat in his left hand. The political unrest of early Dodge City is the stuff legends are made of, and Wyatt Earp's contributions to frontier justice continues to entertain our collective imagination.
This historical marker commemorates the fact that the 100th Meridian line, the invisible longitude line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole, passes through Dodge City around one mile to the east. The line played an important in the history of the West and symbolizes the where the eastern part of the country ends and where the West begins. The marker is located near to the Wyatt Earp statue.
This unique looking building was originally a library and named after philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who donated $7,500 for its construction. It was one of numerous libraries that Carnegie helped build throughout the country beginning in 1881. Built in 1907, its architecture can be characterized the "free eclectic" style, incorporating various classical elements. The two-story dome, with its second-story gallery, is another striking feature of the building. Today, it is now the Carnegie Art Center, which provides space for local artists to present and sell their work.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of the more striking buildings in Dodge City. Built in 1916, it was designed by Ralph Adams Cram (of Cram and Ferguson, one of the leading architecture firms at the time) in the Mission Revival style, resembling the architecture of the missions that the Spanish established throughout the Southwest. The interior features murals painted by artist George Melville Stone depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Good Samaritan, the Good Sheppard, and the Angles at the Tomb. All of the murals include southwestern desert motifs, flora, and Native American figures. The church is now used as part of the Sacred Heart School; the parish merged with Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2001 to form the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.