Front Street in Dodge City

One of the highlights of our trip to Dodge City, Kansas, was a visit to the Boot Hill Museum. The museum itself was fascinating as it told the story of the history of Dodge City. And then, outside of the museum building was a recreation of Front Street in Dodge City as it would have appeared in the 1870s. Let’s take a look!

The Old West

Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas

Charles Rath & Co., the Long Branch Saloon, G.M. Hoover, Dry Goods, and more. They say this is a fairly accurate recreation of Front Street in Dodge City. Who am I to argue? Although I do appreciate that the “street” out front is actually grass instead of dust and dirt. But that grass would not last if just a few horses ran down the street.

Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas

Best of all, you can actually go inside all of these buildings, too. Many of them are partitioned off to allow access to only part of the building, but you can look inside and see how things were, complete with many period artifacts. It was fascinating to see all that they had on display in these buildings, in addition to all that was in the main museum. We stayed for about three hours, but we could have stayed even longer.

I should have framed the above photo slightly better because you can see a somewhat modern electrical pole and line in the background. That looks just a little out of place.

Laura and Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas

Laura would have loved to ride a horse down Front Street, reliving the old days that were obviously way before our time. But there were no horses in sight, so we had to settle for a leisurely stroll. It was a cool, windy day, which made it a perfect day for the “Barn Hair Don’t Care” cap Laura had gotten for her birthday earlier in the week!

Laura on the wooden sidewalks of Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas

It was fun to walk up and down the wooden sidewalks, just like in the old days. But it was also fun to have modern conveniences and gadgets like cameras to be able to take photos and remember it all. We definitely enjoyed our visit!

New Things

Going to museums and historical sites such as the Boot Hill museum is always a reminder of how blessed we are now. We have electricity, indoor plumbing, cameras, cell phones, toothpaste, cars, and all sorts of things that make life easier than it was back then. We can drive to Dodge City in no time at all compared to how long it took to arrive there by wagon train or railroad.

But then I start to wonder what they thought back then. Maybe they felt blessed to live in the time of railroads so that they did not have to ride in the wagon train to get somewhere. Perhaps they felt blessed to have a city with wooden sidewalks so that they did not have to walk through the mud. I am sure that those who had been around for a while were happy to be able to buy things from a general store rather than trying to make and grow everything they needed.

And then I wonder what it will be like 50 or 100 years from now. Not that I plan to be around for that long. But what conveniences will we have then that we never would think of having right now?

Progress is always happening. New things are always coming around. The world is always changing. Our job right now is to be content with what we have as we go about our daily lives. Make the most of the time that we are given, and use what we have to serve others. And then when something new comes along, find a way to use it to serve others, too.

Things are always changing, but there will always be a need to serve.

I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. - Ecclesiastes 3:10-11

About the Photos

I wanted to give these photos something of an Old West “Gunsmoke” look to them. Not black and white like the early days of the television show, but later on in the color years. So I went with less color saturation than I usually use. And I added some golden highlight tones to everything, too. I like the western feel of this look.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: April 16, 2022
Location: Dodge City, Kansas

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.