Calendar of Events

Mar
15
Mon
all-day American Plains Artist Signature...
American Plains Artist Signature...
Mar 15 – May 22 all-day
American Plains Artist Signature Show
The Petrified Wood and Art Gallery of Ogallala will host the American Plains Artist Signature Show March 15 through May 22, 2021.   Opening and Closing Receptions will be March 15 and May 22, 2021 from[...]
May
1
Sat
all-day Catfish Classic
Catfish Classic
May 1 – May 2 all-day
Contact: Darrell Morrow (308)778-5879
May
22
Sat
all-day Shut Up & Fish
Shut Up & Fish
May 22 – May 23 all-day
Contact: Chad Vogl (308)355-2321
Jun
5
Sat
all-day Drovers Golf Tournament
Drovers Golf Tournament
Jun 5 – Jun 6 all-day
Contact: Chamber of Commerce (308)284-4046

Boot Hill

boot-hill-cowboy

A windswept hill north of the original settlement of Ogallala was the area’s first burial ground. It became known as Boot Hill during the Texas Trail era of the 1880s, when unlucky cowboys were often buried with their boots on.

 Numerous stories are told of those days when gun battles took their toll on human life. Many buried at Boot Hill ran afoul of the law and the streets of Ogallala echoed with gunfire as some slick gambler or horse thief met his end.  One burial was that of “Rattlesnake Ed,” who was shot down over a nine dollar bet in a Monte game in the “Cowboy’s Rest Saloon.”

In his book “Log of a Cowboy”, trail driver Andy Adams wrote, “We finally scaled the last divide and there below us in the valley of the South Platte River nestled Ogallala, the Gomorrah of the cattle trail. From amongst its half hundred buildings, no church spire pointed upward, but instead, ¾ of its business houses were dance halls, gambling houses and saloons.” One trail boss, who let his trail drivers go into Dodge City for recreation when they arrived there, refused to let his cowhands come into Ogallala because of its wild and unsavory reputation – thus giving rise to a phase that Ogallala was the “town too tough for Texans.”

The bodies, placed in canvas sacks, were lowered into shallow graves and marked with a wooden headboard. Boot Hill is unique –buried in its sod are the many stories of the early days of Ogallala.

Want to learn more?  Download the Boot Hill brochure or see this account of Boot Hill history.