July 10th

August 7th

July 10th

Music by Greeley's own Kathi & Kaysi 

Part One of the Chuckwagon Chronicles

July 24th

August 7th

July 10th

Music by the Still Stompers

Part Two of the Chuckwagon Chronicles

August 7th

August 7th

August 21st Fiesta Night

Music by Hazel Hue

Stories by Larry Rogstad

August 21st Fiesta Night

August 21st Fiesta Night

August 21st Fiesta Night

Catered by Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

Music by Rusty 44

Part Three of the Chuckwagon Chronicles

September 4th

August 21st Fiesta Night

September 4th

Music by Greeley Western Philharmonic Ensemble

The Final Installment of the Chuckwagon Chronicles


Chuckwagon Chronicles


Presenting the 2019 Pulse of the Poudre Chuckwagon Chronicles

Unsaddle your horse, take off your spurs, pull up a chair, eat some authentic grub, and settle in for an evening of history and music at the Poudre Learning Center! From the 19th Century to the present, cattle have had a “mooooving impact” on the history, culture and economy of Greeley, Weld County, and northern Colorado. Esteemed historian and valued community treasure, Peggy Ford Waldo of the City of Greeley Museum, in this four-part series, will provide lively stories and anecdotes about the colorful characters and times associated with the cattle industry from 1859 – 1919. 

July 10: Longhorn and Short Grass: A Profitable Combo:

The Civil War (1861 – 1865) impacted the course of the Texas cattle industry. A few lucky entrepreneurs saw huge profits in driving surplus cattle to new markets where miners and immigrants had an appetite for beef. Learn about the partnership of Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight, the Goodnight-Loving Trail and the invention of the chuckwagon. Learn about Colorado’s “Cattle King”, John Wesley Ilif and how the open range in northern Colorado contributed significantly to his fortune.

July 24: “No Fences and No Rum!”

On his only visit to his namesake town on Oct. 12, 1870, Horace Greeley explained his vision that the town would have no fences and no rum. Unfortunately, longhorns were ravaging the colonists’ yards, gardens, and farms, so $20,000 was spent on 50 miles of fence that surrounded the town and adjacent Union Colony lands. Barbed wire was the nemesis to the open range, as homesteaders staked claims, and new towns were platted along railroads. Learn about native peoples who hunted bison, and how Greeley became the “Buffalo Robe Capital of Colorado” in the 1870s. Hear stories about early pioneers who settled along the Cache la Poudre--Robert Boyd, Benjamin H. Eaton, and Peter Winne.  

August 21: The British, Blizzards, and Branding:

The Cattle Industry in the 1880s: Foreign investors saw great potential in establishing business ventures in the American West, including raising cattle and improving herds through selective breeding. In Weld County, the four Painter brothers and Lyulph “Lord” Ogilvy established important livestock ranches. Learn about the “remittance men”, round-up districts, branding, the proposed national cattle trail, and changes in cattle raising after the disastrous blizzards of the 1880s.  

September 4th: Weld County Cowboy Tales

By the 1890s, railroads, homesteaders, and new communities would bring result in the end of the open range. Learn about communities that became important cattle shipping centers (Carr, Hardin, Cheyenne), and the adventures of some notable cowboys and cattlemen, including Frank Benton, who predicted in his book, Cowboy Life on the Sidetrack, that in the future water might become more valuable than cattle.   



Prior to the chuckwagon, cowboys relied on eating whatever was in their saddle bags. In 1866, Charles Goodnight took a Army wagon and added a pantry box to the rear, knowing his crew worked harder on a full stomach. This became known as the chuckwagon and was the first one in Colorado. 


The cook, or "Cookie", was not only relied on for food but also acted as dentist, doctor, Barber, Bankers, and letter writer. Cookie had a reputation of being ill tempered as he received little sleep.  His morning started by making coffee and sourdough biscuits before the rest of the crew woke up.


The crew often ate biscuits, dried pork and beans (whistle berries) as Beef stew often took about 3-4 hours and was difficult to make while on the move. If Cookie was in a good mood he may have made a pastry or pie for the crew.