A Very Special Evening To Preserve Our Western Heritage

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play

Probably everyone in America has heard “Home on the Range” at one time or another. Tonight, at the Prairie Rose in Benton, KS, there was a benefit to preserve the cabin in Smith County, Kansas, where Brewster Higley wrote the song in 1872. The special guest was Michael Martin Murphey who recorded the song with Tammy Wynette and got a gold record from it. It is available from iTunes.

How often at night when the heavens are bright
with the light from the glittering stars...

After a wonderful cowboy dinner (yes, there were chuckwagon beans) there was an auction auction of memorabilia relating to the West, the cabin, and song.

A ten gallon hat autographed by Miranda Lambert being auctioned.
Michael Martin Murphey performing “Home on the Range”

After that, the Prairie Rose Rangers performed some of their great songs.  Then, the special guest of the evening, Michael Martin Murphy, came out and performed “Home on the Range” with the crowd singing along. It is the state song of Kansas. He played some other traditional cowboy songs then took requests.

Have I stood there amazed and asked, as I gazed
if their glory exceeds that of ours

As Kathleen and I walked out into the cool, cloudless Kansas night we talked about how lucky were are to have this heritage and hope the cabin and its history can be restored (note: this is entirely a private, non-governmental effort).

The cabin as it is today. 

The background on this effort is here. If you would like to contribute, please send a check to the Ellen Rust Living Trust, 213 W. New York Street, Smith Center, Kansas  66967.

And, for a great evening of cowboy entertainment and living western history, please visit the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon and museum. It was our first visit and we were thoroughly impressed. Prairie Rose is a remarkable, privately owned entertainment facility, restaurant, and museum (part of which is outdoors) all rolled into one.

Mr. Murphey will be performing with his band this weekend and they are having their annual Western Days festival complete with horseback rides, etc., etc. The weather should be wonderful for the outdoor events.

ADDITION:  Here is a report along with video of Mr. Murphey singing “Home on the Range” in front of the cabin. This is THE home on the range that inspired the song.

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