LAJITAS LONGHORN MUSEUM
Nothing symbolizes the Texas spirit more than a Cowboy on horseback herding Texas Longhorns during a cattle drive. Texas Longhorns are part and parcel of the legend and lore of the Old West. The Lajitas Longhorn Museum houses longhorn collection of Fayette Yates. The collection, the world's largest private collection in the United States, is housed and displayed at the historic Lajitas Trading Post.
Longhorn cattle originated in Spain and arrived in Mexico in 1521. The breed; ideally suited to rough range, poor forage, scant water, and no need of human care, multiplied to free roaming herds numbering in the millions, and became the instrument of civilizing the American West. After the great cattle drives of the 19th Century, Longhorns were in danger of extinction.
I.G. Yates, a Texas cattleman trailed cattle north three times. In 1916, his son "Cap" Yates began buying "old time" Texas Longhorns to stock his ranches south of the town of Marathon. By 1968, his herd grew to 1,500 head. Many of the Yates Longhorns were purchased as seed stock for the Wichita Wildlife Refuge herd when the Federal Government established a preserve to save the breed.
Cap's son, Fayette, continued the family tradition, and built his famed Texas Longhorn collection. His wish was for the collection to remain intact, and to serve as a reminder of the "glory days" of the Old West.