Boot Hill Museum is celebrating its 70th anniversary and plans are underway to build expanded exhibit space. The theme for the year long celebration is “Raise a Ruckus” taken from a painting commissioned by the famous Gunsmoke actor and artist, Buck Taylor. Painted exclusively for the museum, Taylor’s painting depicts the rough and rowdy days of the Queen of the Cowtowns with Front Street as a background. This rare painting is the first of three paintings that will feature Dodge City.
To highlight the Museum’s anniversary, the first celebratory event will be the “Platinum Party” on March 23, 2017 from 5pm-7pm. The museum will be offering tours of new exhibits, live entertainment, a performance by the World Famous Boot Hill Gunfighters, and a hamburger feed, all free to the public. This will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ground-breaking ceremony of the museum that took place on March 23, 1947 on top of Boot Hill.
The year will be packed with activities that include cowpoke and can-can camp, gunfights, and Long Branch Variety Shows featuring selected performances from the 60 year run, and will culminating with an Alumni event on September 3, 2017. This event will include previous staff of varied capacities, highlighting the long-lasting friendships that were formed during their Boot Hill career.
The museum will also be putting together a cook book that includes a compilation of recipes from alumni, locals, and tourists with a connection to or memory of Boot Hill. The Cook Book will be for sale this year in the museum gift shop. You can submit your memories and recipes here!
While the Boot Hill Museum is busy planning and participating in anniversary events, this year will also see the opening of several new displays and exhibits in the Beeson gallery inside the Front Street Replica. These projects have been enabled through the Mariah Fund, a western Kansas private foundation. The additions will include a Photography exhibit, Post Office exhibit, a Brothel exhibit, and an updated “Guns that Won the West” exhibit. Some of the designs for the new displays will include hands-on activities that will fascinate children and adults. The new displays and updates to the building will help position the museum to become further recognized throughout the world.
Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum continues to be the bedrock of American Wild West culture and history. The unique events and projects in store this year will invite and captivate an even larger visitor pool. The growth of Boot Hill is made possible by the support of the city of Dodge City, local residents, and the many guests that visit the landmark. Boot Hill Museum will continue to engage the world through its living western exhibits and shows, and continue to claim its place in American history.