If you are traveling through Kansas and go through Dodge City make sure to stop in and check out the Boot Hill Museum. Yes, it can be a little touristy but it really does contain some great information especially in the People of the Plains portion of the museum that starts with exhibits on the native people that lived here and moves forward in the history of the region to the settlers, and cowboys. This museum contains everything from bison information to fashion.
A couple of my favorite little things from the museum: there is a section that simulates a buffalo (bison) stampede and the video used is an edited clip from Dances with Wolves. I know this because Keltin recently reviewed it on his blog. My other favorite thing is how the museum acquired the old jail that is on the premise. The story goes that the museum was on federal grounds and thus could not be donated to the museum. However, those in charge of the fort and government official could see nothing wrong with the jail being stolen. Thus in November of 1953 it was taken from Fort Dodge and relocated to the museum.
Boot Hill got its name long ago in the days of the west when it was a lawless town. People that were killed were buried in graves so shallow that the tips of their boots were to said to stick up above the earth even when the rest of the was under the dirt. A bit morbid yes but things were different in those days.
The museum has a saloon were you can get a cold beer or a bottle of sarsaparilla (similar to root beer) in the Front Street replica. They also have a gun fight reenactment in the evenings but we didn’t stay for that.
If you don’t have time to explore the museum yourself take a video tour with me!