Santa Fe RailroadCanadian was initially a stop on the first stage lines because there was a shallow crossing spot in the Canadian River nearby. The area surrounding Canadian is reminiscent of the terrain found to the west in New Mexico- large cottonwood trees and dry, angular mesas. After the railroad arrived and built a bridge across the same spot, the town grew quickly, with wooden buildings, town lots, and streets replacing the dugouts and tents.
The 1880's brought a saloon, a mercantile store, a press, a barber shop, a blacksmith, and a hardware store. Canadian was on its was to becoming one of the important cities in the Panhandle. Even so, Canadian never suffered the rowdiness of other boom towns, even when oil was discovered in the plains nearby. It was always a civilized place, and the Santa Fe rewarded the community by expanding its facilities in the early 1900's, making Canadians certain their town would soon rival Amarillo as the beef capitol of the Texas Panhandle.
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