CHISHOLM TRAIL FESTIVAL WEEKEND, MAY 4th, 2018
POINTS OF CONTACT:
Phil Sprague, President, Caldwell Historical Society
U.S. Mail: Caldwell Historical Society
P.O. Box 4
Caldwell, KS 67022
The mission of the Caldwell Historical Society is;
To document, preserve and present the history of Caldwell and the surrounding area as a vintage cowtown on the Chisholm Trail, Cherokee Strip and railroad terminal.
To promote preservation and display of related artifacts and memorabilia, including maintaining and hosting the "Border Queen Museum".
To host and/or present events related to our history, such as: longhorn cattle drives; re-enactments of cowtown shootouts; chorus line dancers; chuckwagon dinners; dinners and melodrama skits at the "Caldwell Opera House"; Guest speakers.
To promote related additions to the city, such as: The Opera House; The Border Queen Museum; the Chisholm Trail Arch; and Historical Markers which describe sites or events around town.
CURRENT OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS:
President: Phil Spraque
Vice President:Leo Schiltz
Secretary: Michelle Schiltz
Treasurer: David Mardis
Directors: Wayne Wencl, Caroline Sandell, LuAnn Jamison
CALDWELL OPERA HOUSE:
The Caldwell Opera House, Caldwell's oldest building, stands on the corner of Central and Main Street. Original construction began in 1879 and housed Caldwell's first Opera House. Although mainly used for entertainment, it also housed a bank downstairs. The building boasts a colorful history. Not only was it the site of a shootout between Caldwell citizens and cowboy outlaws, but the bank president absconded with customer money and left town.The building, which slowly deteriorated over the years, became in danger of demolition. The Caldwell Historical Society purchased the building for back taxes and following a series of fund raisers, private donations, matching grants and many hours of volunteer hours by dedicated citizens; the old opera house was completely renovated. A grand re-opening was held in August of 2006 . Today the beautifully renovated Opera House is used not only for cultural and entertainment events, but also showcases a display of historical artifacts from the 1880's during Caldwell's "hey-day" as a "rough and tumble" cowtown along the Chisholm Trail.