Old Abilene Town was formed in 1958 to preserve the rich western heritage that Abilene has. A group of businessmen and women came together to create an “old west town”. From 1958 to 1981, Old Abilene Town was a public corporation which public stocks were sold. The purpose of the buisness was to establish a tourist attraction that would tell the story of Abilene when it was a cattle town. During this time historic buildings were located throughout the county and were moved to the site. Old Abilene Town came to life. During the 1960s and 1970s Old Abilene Town became a major attraction for Abilene.
In 1981 Old Abilene Town began to have some financial problems. The “town site” was sold to private ownership. At this time the public support dropped for the project. It was no longer a community project, but a private enterprise. Over the years Old Abilene Town began to decline, the buildings became in need of repair and the programming became almost non existent.
In 2003, Historic Abilene, Inc was formed to raise funds to purchase Old Abilene Town and turn it back into a quality tourist attraction for Abilene. It started out great. The public support was once agian building. Then in 2006, plans were announced that Historic Abilene wanted to move Old Abilene Town near Interstate-70 and turn it into a theme park. When this came out in the newspapers there was a public out cry and once again the public support died.
After a year of nothing, Historic Abilene reorganized and refocused its mission to the following:
Mission Statement of Historic Abilene, Inc.
Historic Abiilene was established to develop Old Abilene Town into a quality tourist attraction depicting the Cattle Drive Era of Abilene 1867-1871.
Historic Abilene, Inc, will preserve the history, tales, and the cowboy legends of Abilene by using historic buildings, living history interpreters and special events.
The Cattle Drive Era was one of the most important periods of history for Abilene. Through the efforts of Historic Abilene, the western heritage of our community will not be forgotten.
Historic Abilene continues to work to raise funds to restore the old buildings. It has brought back the gunfights and the can can girls to perform on the weekends. Old Abilene Town is once again becoming a quality tourist attraction.
Today it needs your help. Click on the Membership tab and you can help preserve the “old west” history of Abilene.
Abilene: Where the Chisholm Trail Ends and the Legends Begin