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Frying Pan Ranch Chuckwagon

Think back to the Old West’s cowboys and ranchers, and it's difficult to conjure a more iconic image than the chuckwagon. Come get a close up look at the Scarbrough/Linebery family’s chuckwagon, an authentic piece of Western lore.


The Frying Pan Ranch lies in the Permian Basin, 65 miles west of Midland. The ranch’s 135,000 deeded acres extend through Winkler, Loving, and Andrews counties in Texas. Evelyn and Tom Linebery donated their working chuckwagon to the West of the Pecos Museum where it is on display as if it were in service out on the range.

The Frying Pan Ranch chuckwagon was used by the Scarborough family for more than 100 years. Their chuckwagon cook was R.E. “Dunny” Dunlap, and according to Tom Linebery, “you haven’t lived unless you knew Dunny. With Evelyn’s and Dunny’s cooking abilities, we could always keep good cowboys.”

In the 1860s there was a great need for cowboys and tremendous competition in recruiting cowboys that were good. To gain an advantage, Colonel Charles “Chuck” Goodnight invented the chuckwagon, thereby improving the quality of meals being served along the trails. Goodnight outfitted a military wagon with a kitchen on the back and soon the concept was adopted by trail drovers across the West. It was named the chuckwagon after founder Chuck Goodnight.

During long trail drives, the chuckwagon was the headquarters of every cattle outfit on the range. Cowboys ate their meals there, and it was their social center and recreational spot. It was also the cowboys only known address, truly their home on the range.

Of the chuckwagon crew, the cook was most important, earning about $60 per month. He ruled the wagon with an absolute hand.

Typical chuckwagon provisions for a 1000-mile trail drive included:
300 pounds salt pork
500 pounds flour
50 pounds salt
100 pounds coffee
50 pounds baking powder
10 pounds pepper
200 pounds onions
500 pounds beans
50 pounds sour dough starter
500 pounds potatoes
50 pounds dried chilies
50 pounds dried garlic
50 pounds lard
200 pounds dried fruit

Approximate cost: $3500.00

Learn more about Frying Pan Ranch


Frying Pan Ranch Chuckwagon Map