Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker are two important names in U.S. frontier history. Much can to be learned from the dramatic story of these two courageous individuals. In 1836, a Comanche raiding party took Cynthia Ann from her family and over the following years, she became wife to a Comanche chief and mother to children, including Quanah. After Cynthia Ann was taken back by Texas Rangers, Quanah became one of the most important Comanche leaders both in war and peace. The Lakes Trail Program recognizes the importance of their life stories and is initiating this effort to tell both youths and adults about these two persons and about the many significant places in Texas and Oklahoma important to knowing about their lives.
The photo exhibit is planned to be developed into a traveling exhibit for use by schools and museums. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Trails Program is planning a print and an on-line itinerary listing the many places in Texas and Oklahoma significant to learning more about Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker. There are numerous historical sites and markers, museums and communities where their story can be learned. Through the story of these two persons, one opens heritage tourism doors to many important aspects of Comanche, Native American and frontier heritage across broad areas of Texas and Oklahoma. Information about these places will be available at the exhibit and through the development of the “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail Program.”
Several persons and organizations are involved in this effort. Douglas Harman, President of the Lakes Trail Region and Clara Ruddell with the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau worked with the Lakes Trail Program to put this exhibit together. The project also includes plans for a “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail” which highlights the many places to visit relevant to their lives. Clara Ruddell is the principal researcher assembling the photo materials. The Redstone Visual Impression Company, through its graphic designer Paula Abney, created the exhibit materials for display. Many organizations and individuals have assisted in making available photos and information which have gone into the creation of the exhibit. Special recognition must be given to the Comanche Nation and the many members of the Parker family for keeping this story alive and sharing materials and information. Ben Tahmahkera, great great grandson of Quanah, has provided special inspiration for the project. This exhibit is the beginning of an effort to bring more attention to the important Native American heritage in our region.
The Texas Lakes Trail Program is one of the ten regional heritage tourism programs created through the Texas Historical Commission. For more information about the exhibit and program, the following people can be contacted: Jill Campbell, Coordinator of the Lakes Trail Program at 817-559-2288, Douglas Harman, President of the Lakes Trail Program at 817-691-6322 and Clara Ruddell at 214-693-5915. Gallery 76102 is managed by Megan Topham 817-272-5908, and the Gallery’s information number is 817-292-0365. Gallery 76102 is located at the UT Arlington/Fort Worth at 1401 Jones Street, Fort Worth Texas. Regular hours for the Gallery are Tuesday and Thursday 12 to 6 pm and on Saturday 10 to 2 pm. Special visiting times can be arranged through the Gallery. The exhibit is free.