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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Canyon, Texas

Canyon, Texas (population 12,875), is in the Texas Panhandle 14 miles south of Amarillo and serves as the Randall County Seat. Canyon boasts a rich history based in cattle and ranching, and a heritage rooted in the pioneer spirit of the West. The first settlers came in the late 1880s, and many were Confederate Army veterans.

When the railroad arrived, Canyon City became a major shipping point for cattle and cotton, and the city incorporated in 1906. Strong growth continued even through World War I and the Great Depression. After World War II, the economy continued to depend on production of wheat, sorghum, dairy products, and livestock, as well as on West Texas A&M University.

As the gateway to Palo Duro Canyon State Park; the site of the oldest and largest museum in Texas, the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum; and as home to a long running musical production sharing the area's history and culture, Canyon has become a destination for visitors from around the world. Some version of the musical drama "TEXAS Legacies" has been performed since 1965, and it has since become the most attended outdoor drama in the United States, seen by more than 3 million visitors from 100 countries.

In addition to being a thriving small town with world-renowned tourist attractions, Canyon was selected in 2002 as a Texas Main Street City. Lending institutions in Canyon have demonstrated their support of the Canyon Main Street Program by establishing a low-interest loan program to stimulate the rehabilitation and revitalization of commercial properties in the central business district. Today, there are 24 historical markers in Canyon, and the town continues to grow and prosper.

For more information

City of Canyon: www.canyon-tx.com/index2.html

Canyon Chamber of Commerce: www.canyonchamber.org

Canyon History - Handbook of Texas Online: www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/CC/hec1.html

TexasEscapes.com: A Texas Travel, History and Architecture Magazine History: www.texasescapes.com/TexasPanhandleTowns/

Updated June 2, 2009

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