Historic Sites on the Ranch


Cottonwood Mott Line Camp

named for the stand or motte of trees which surrounded a natural spring here, was the site of a line camp as early as 1878. Cowboys used the camp as a base from which to work, herding cattle and mending fences on the range. A log cabin, built by hands of the free-ranging Jingle Bobs and shared with the Spur outfit, headquartered on Hall Creek, was the site of two deadly gunfights, one over the singing of Yankee Doodle, and the other, a love triangle between a camp man's wife and a young cowboy. The Matador Cattle Co. purchased range rights of the Middle Pease watershed in 1879, but a few years later sold out to the foreign-held Matador Land and Cattle Co., Ltd. of Scotland. The Scottish syndicate successfully operated the ranch for 69 years, but sold out in 1951 when a rumor of oil pushed up the price of ranch stock. The break-up of the huge ranch allowed the families of J.C. and W. E. Burleson to purchase a portion of the vast Mott Pasture which included Mott Line Camp.


Chimney Creek Dugout

a rare example of a sandstone-lined dugout, which included a fireplace built with a masonic arch, was built by James Fields in 1900 when he began "proving up" his claim of 78 acres of a survey mistake of state-owned land. Surrounded by the gigantic Matador Ranch, the Irish stone mason and his wife Maggie and their three small children barely eked out a living along Chimney Creek until he foolishly chased a rabbit into a hole. When he reached in for it, he was fatally bitten by a rattlesnake.


Horse Sketch Springs

according to local folk lore, the pictograph of the horse in the Mott Creek title above was deeply etched into the sandstone rock above a seep springs on Mott Creek by a pioneer's daughter. But only the imagination can provide the story for a saddled horse, branded with a U, galloping away with reins a-flying.


Pastore Rock Fence

recently documented by a research team from Texas Tech University, tells of the 1870's when New Mexican sheep herders drove flocks down from Santa Fe to both provide winter gazing and avoid taxation. A crude rock fence with slabs turned on end protected the flock from predators during the night.


Indian Burial Site

is located on top of a mesa providing a sweeping vista to the rolling hills and ravines to the north and east. Early-day cowboys plundered the grave, tossing aside the rock cairn used to mark the spot and protect it from predators. During different time periods, Apaches, Kiowas, and lastly Comanches, were known to camp nearby at the springs along Mott Creek.


Museums and other Places to Visit:

Motley County Historical Museum in Matador, 12 miles

Floyd County Historical Museum in Floydada, 20 miles Texas Tech University Ranching Heritage Museum in Lubbock, 70 miles, contact by email: RanchHC@ttu.edu Burleson Memorial Roping, near Whiteflat, 28 miles Hotel Turkey in Turkey, 40 miles Bob Wills Day Celebration on 4th weekend of April in Turkey, 40 miles Caprock Canyons State Park, JA Bison Herd, 54 miles

Texas Outdoor Drama in Palo Duro Canyon, 133 miles