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The Jimmy Mitchell Family Films, no. 2 - Adobe Walls, Turkey Track Ranch, and Taos Pueblo (1961-62)

Tara Carlisle

Silent | 1961-62

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  •  Family gathered in yard on Easter morning 
  •  Adobe Walls Battle Ground 
  •  Turkey Track Ranch 
  •  Santa’s North Pole amusement park 
  •  Taos Pueblo in New Mexico 
  •  Native American dance 
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In this home movie, the Mitchell Family is shown on vacation, traveling to the historical site of Adobe Walls Battle Ground, Turkey Track Ranch, Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, and various parts of Colorado in the early 1960s. Scenes of the family on Easter morning at their home are also included.
There were two battles which took place at this group of trading posts, which is now referred to as a “ghost town” of Hutchinson County, located in the Texas panhandle.  
The first battle was fought between a faction of the local Native Americans and the firm established to trade with this population.  After a brief period of peaceful trade was brought to a close by a streak of violence from the tribes, the traders, led by William Bent, destroyed the post with explosives.  Later, when Col. Christopher “Kit” Carson and his troop of volunteers were traveling through the area after leading a raid on a Kiowa community, they were attacked by a number of tribes who claimed this spot as their own.  Carson and his group ultimately withdrew.
The second battle took place on a larger scale, after the ruins left by the first battle had become a symbolic warning used by Native Americans and other established groups of the area to denote their territory.  By 1874, a number of stores, a saloon, and a blacksmith shop were established near the site of the first battle, and an alliance of 700 Native Americans was created under the leadership of Isa-tai and Quanah Parker to put an end to this development.  The confrontation turned into an onslaught which lasted more than four days, requiring large numbers of reinforcements for the settlers, and resulted in the Red River War.  It is seen as a major defeat for the Native American peoples of this region, as this war resulted in their relocation to the southern plains of Oklahoma.
The Turkey Track Ranch was established nearby the historic Adobe Walls Battle Site in the panhandle of Texas following the relocation of the Native American peoples of that area.  The Ranch was started by Richard E. McNalty, a native of Colorado, in 1878.  It was sold numerous times shortly after and ended up in the management of Caleb B. “Cape” Willingham, a former sheriff, under whose direction the ranch flourished for many years.  The ranch passed through ownership several more times but maintained the Turkey Track Ranch name, the cattle branded with the Turkey Track brand through the 1980s.