CHARLES AND MARY ANN GOODNIGHT RANCH
STATE HISTORICAL SITE
Built in the 1880s, this two-story building was the home of legendary cattleman Charles Goodnight and his wife Mary Ann Dyer Goodnight for more than 30 years. Painstakingly restored, it now houses The Goodnight Historical Center, preserving the legacy of the Panhandle’s ranching legend.
Charles Goodnight, also known as the “Father of the Texas Panhandle,” became one of the most successful cattlemen in the American West. With his partner Oliver Loving, Goodnight helped blaze the trail from Belknap, Texas to Fort Sumner, New Mexico on what became known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail.
In 1876, Goodnight consolidated his operations at a ranch near Palo Duro Canyon and the next year partnered with John Adair on the JA Ranch that soon covered more than a million miles with a herd of 100,000+ head. Today the JA Ranch is the largest privately owned ranch in the Texas Panhandle.
A pioneer in cattle breeding, Goodnight is also known for the invention of the chuck wagon. Needing a way to keep his drovers fed as they trailed cattle, Goodnight bolted a wooden box to the back of a wagon and added cubby holes to store cooking gear, bedding, food and more. His simple creativity in solving a problem revolutionized the cattle industry and the chuck wagon is now celebrated as the official vehicle of Texas.
Visit the Goodnight Historical Center and see an original chuck wagon for yourself. Take a tour of the Goodnight home, explore the grounds where you can walk into a typical dugout and catch a glimpse of the descendants of Goodnight’s original buffalo herd.