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The Old MacKenzie Trail

1936 Texas Centennial Monument in Plainview

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General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie, MacKenzie Trail
Sculpture of General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie,
MacKenzie Trail Monument
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Historical Marker:

The Old MacKenzie Trail

General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie

The Old MacKenzie Trail
by "Larry" Chittendon

Stretching onward toward the sunset, o'er prairie, hill and vale, far beyond the double mountains winds the Old MacKenzie Trail. Ah, what thoughts and border memories does that dreaming trail suggest, thoughts of travelers gone forever to the twilight realms of rest. Where are now the scouts and soldiers, and those wagon trains of care, those grim men and haggard women and the echoes whisper - where? Ah, what tales of joy and sorrows could that silent trail relate: tales of loss, and wrecked ambitions, tales of hope, of love, and hate: Tales of hunger, thirst, and anguish tales of skulking Indian braves, tales of fear, and death, and danger, tales of lonely prairie graves. Where are now that trail's processions, winding westward sure and slow? Lost: ah, yes, destroyed progress, gone to realms of long ago. Nevermore shall bold MacKenzie, with his brave and dauntless band, guide the restless, roving settlers through the Texas borderland. Yes, that soldier's work is over, and the dim trail rests at last, but his name and trail still lead us through the borders of the past.

The MacKenzie Trail first crossed by General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie, 4th United States Cavalry, in 1871 in quest of warring bands of Indians.

Erected by the state of Texas with funds appropriated by Federal government to commemorate one hundred years of Texas independence. - 1836 - 1936
Hale County Plainview Tx MacKenzie Trail Marker
MacKenzie Trail Monument on Hale County courthouse grounds
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Centennial

MacKenzie Trail

by Clay Coppedge

"... A number of towns have claimed portions of the Mackenzie Trail as their own, and most of them probably have a right to do so... By 1900 railroads had obliterated much of the Mackenzie Trail and made it mostly unnecessary. The railroads were the new trails, and some of them followed Mackenzie's route.

The best of what's left of the Mackenzie Trail today is probably on private property. You're near it when you're at the intersection of U.S. 277 and Texas 6 in Stamford, where a monument tells you the trail ran a little north of there. The trail also ran between Dickens and Spur, so when you're on parts of U.S. Highway 82 from Dickens to Lubbock you're probably following Mackenzie's path pretty closely.

Historian Ernest Wallace noted in his account of Mackenzie on the plains that Mackenzie's trail was a highly significant contribution to the exploration and opening of the American West..." Read full article
Stamford Tx - MacKenzie Trail Monument
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
The MacKenzie Trail Monument
about 1.5 miles north of Stamford
at the intersection of US277 and SH6
near the Haskell / Jones County line
See Plainview, Texas
Stamford, Texas

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