Boot Hill Museum Gunfight - Dodge City, Kansas
The Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas is dedicated to preserving the history of the Old West. The museum was in the middle of a expansion construction project in July 2019 when these photos were taken, but the work did not impact our experience. The work is now completed.
While the museum is probably best known for gunfight recreations and the evening can-can show, I enjoyed the exhibits in the 1947 Boot Hill Building and tucked into parts of the building behind the old west "Front Street."
Many people will feel the need to see the gunfight, to justify the $18 admission fee. The gunfights take place at high noon and 6:30PM during the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Your summer visit should be timed for you to be present at one of those 2 times. Fall, winter and spring, the admission is $2 lower.
Other summer only events are an additional expense: old time photos, ice cream parlor, 7PM country style dinner and 7:30PM Long Branch Variety Show. In 2021 a combination ticket for admission, dinner and show was $42 for 13 & up and $30 for 5-12 years.
The museum is named after the Boot Hill Cemetery, which was once on the northeast corner of the grounds. The name refers to men who "died with their boots on." Today the cemetery has simulated grave markers with the names of people who had been buried there. The cemetery was used from 1872 until 1878 when the remains were moved to a new Prairie Grove Cemetery, east of Dodge City. Prairie Grove was used only 9 years and many of the bodies were moved again to the current Maple Grove Cemetery.
The Boot Hill museum began as a community service project of the Dodge City Jaycees in 1947. The replica "Front Street" was started in 1958 and expanded over the years. Some historic buildings were moved to the grounds as well, though only the 1876 Union Church was open during our visit.
copyright 2019-2021 by Keith Stokes