A mulberry tree is about to get recognized for its landmark presence along the Chisholm Trail.
The tree on the Kansas Masonic Home’s grounds at Martinson and Maple in Wichita served as a trail marker for American Indians and later for cowboys as they herded cattle along the Chisholm Trail.
It is estimated to be more than 200 years old.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail.
Beginning at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, people are invited to gather at the tree while a plaque is presented.
After the dedication, Jay Price, chairman of the Wichita State University History Department, will talk about Wichita and the Chisholm Trail.
Tours of the Kansas Masonic Home will be available, as will refreshments.
The event is one of several this year in Wichita and along the trail’s historic route to mark its sesquicentennial.
From 1867 to 1872, the trail ran slightly south of what is now Douglas Avenue. The route was then moved farther south when business developed to the point that the vast herds of cattle traipsing through on Douglas were interfering with daily commerce.
In the 1860s, the Chisholm Trail was one of three great byways that crossed the country. The Oregon and Santa Fe trails were migrant and commercial trails, but the Chisholm Trail was for cattle.
The trail carried thousands of cattle from Texas into Kansas cowtowns such as Abilene, Wichita, Newton and Caldwell. In Wichita alone, more than 230,000 head of cattle were shipped out of the city from 1872 to 1876.
The town of Delano, which sprang up on the west side of the Arkansas River on what is now Douglas, was known for brothels and saloons that catered to cowboys who brought the cattle to Wichita. Delano was incorporated into Wichita in 1880.