National Ranching Heritage Center Presents Heritage Halloween at the Ranch

The National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) will host an old-fashioned Harvest Festival from 4 to 7 p.m., Oct. 31, during the 2nd annual Heritage Halloween at the Ranch event. Visitors of all ages can attend free of charge.

Trick-or-treaters can fill their bags with period-correct treats as they visit several of the historic structures at the NRHC. Also offered are hay rides through the park, a cakewalk at the McLaughlin Arbor and fall crafts to make, such as pin wheels and cornhusk dolls in the Pitchfork Pavilion. "Heritage Halloween is an opportunity for children to enjoy the holiday in a safe and educational way," said Emily Arellano, event coordinator and manager of education. "As children in costume visit the historic buildings, their treats will be period-correct for each house. For example, at the 1909 Barton House, volunteers will be handing out Hershey's Kisses, which were developed in 1907. At the 1886 Las Escarbadas division of the XIT Ranch, trick-or-treaters will receive Tootsie Rolls, which were developed in 1896." Period treats include:

  • Butterscotch candy (developed in 1855) at Hedwig's Hill Dogtrot House (1855-56)
  • Stick candy (developed in the 1800s) at the Matador Half Dugout (1888)
  • Soft Peppermint Sticks (1901) at the Long S Whiteface Camp (1901, 1905)
  • NECCO wafers (developed in 1901) at the Box & Strip House (1903, 1907)
  • Saltwater Taffy (1880s) at the Bairfield Schoolhouse (1893)
  • Hershey's Kisses (1907) at the Barton House (1909)
  • Candy Corn (1880s) at the Matador Office (1880)
  • Tootsie Rolls (1896) at Las Escarbadas (1886)
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (1928) at the Ropes Depot (1918)
  • Super Bubble Gum (1948) at the Pitchfork Cookhouse (1900, 1950s)

Arellano added that the community has been very supportive of this event. "The Maize is providing corn and shocks to decorate the historical park and the Ranch Hosts volunteers will demonstrate traditional activities such as pulling taffy," she said. Cogdell's General Store will be open with Halloween decorations, gifts and fall merchandise. Heritage Halloween is free, but donations are welcome at the door. For additional information, contact Arellano at (806) 742-0498 or by e-mail at