Locals and visitors can celebrate this community’s Western heritage this weekend with Cimarron Days and the Maverick Ranch Rodeo.
Cimarron’s motto is “Where the West is Still Wild!” and it fits. Once a stop along the Santa Fe Trail, Cimarron has seen land wars, gunfights, murder…. Western luminaries Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James and Billy the Kidd have all figured in Cimarron’s history and several working ranches surround this hard-working community.
Cimarron Days takes place 9 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 4) and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 5) with live music and entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, games, prizes, a 50/50 raffle and the Junior Miss Cimarron Contest for ages 6-13.
Musician Gary Reynolds performs Saturday, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. followed by Tom Kear from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and a Legends by Lanterns Tour at the Express St. James Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Ry Taylor performs Sunday, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
For more information, call Pat Gruver, 575-613-3476, DiAnn Carpenter, 505-652-0700 or Jan Reynolds, 575-512-5130.
The 9th Annual Maverick Ranch Rodeo kicks off Saturday (Aug. 4) with a Grand Entry at 10 a.m. at the Maverick Rodeo Ground in Cimarron. Watch working teams of cowboys and cowgirls from ranches across the West compete in Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA)-sanctioned events. The Winning Team earns a spot at the World Championship Rodeo this November in Amarillo, Texas. Tickets are $5, children 6 and under are free. Contact the Cimarron Chamber of Commerce for more information., 575-376-2417 or 1-888-376-2417.
Santa Fe Trail
In 1821, trader William Becknell blazed the mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail from Old Franklin in west Missouri to Santa Fe. In 1822, Becknell forged the shorter Cimarron Route. Cimarron is home to several Santa Fe Trail sites, including:
- The St. James Hotel, built in 1875 by Henri Lambert, a former chef for Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. A favorite stopping point for outlaws and western heroes, the St. James Hotel continues to present a picture of the past. Zane Grey wrote a novel here and former New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace wrote part of Ben Hur here. Bullet holes can be seen in the walls of the St. James and the hotel strives to preserve the flavor of the town during those days of the Wild West.
- The Aztec Mill, built by Lucien Maxwell in 1864 and used by Kit Carson as the Cimarron Indian Agency headquarters. The mill now holds a delightful collection of historical artifacts, old photographs, and written accounts of frontier life.
- Other sites include the Old Plaza and Well, the Dahl Brothers Trading Post and Warehouse (c. 1848), the National Hotel (c. 1854), Swink’s Gambling Hall (1854), and the Meagers Sanderson Stagecoach Line Office (pre-1870).