Before the Chisholm Trail opened up new markets for ranchers and caused the domestic cattle industry to explode, cattlemen could ship beef to New Orleans – which, as the only market available for export, became quickly glutted with beef. In the mid-1800s, several attempts were made to ship the animals out of South Texas to markets as far as Florida and Cuba. This was a tough journey for cattle to survive, however, resulting in huge amounts of waste – and little or no profit for the Texas ranchers. These failures in shipping cattle highlighted the need for the domestic U.S. markets, and led to the rise of the great cattle drives.
The 90,000-square-foot Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History features a number of artifacts from – and interpretive materials about – the cattle drive era.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History