History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Pawnee County Museums and Historic Sites

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Fort Larned National Historic Site, KansasMuseums: 




Central States Scout Museum - Features one of the best collections of boy and girl scout memorabilia west of the Mississippi River. 815 Broadway, P.O. Box 392, Larned, Kansas, 620-285-8938 or 620-285-6427.


Fort Larned National Historic Site, Larned, Kansas - Established in 1859 on the vast prairie in western Kansas  near the midpoint of the Santa Fe Trail. Its Indian Agency was also instrumental in maintaining friendly relations with Plains Indians. Today, with nine restored buildings, it is the best preserved Indian wars military post on the Santa Fe Trail. The historic fort is located 6 miles west of Larned, Kansas on Kansas Highway 156. Fort Larned National Historic Site, 1767 Kansas Highway 156, Larned, Kansas  67550-9321, 620-285-6911.

Santa Fe Trail Center - A unique museum, library, and  educational institution devoted to the interpretation the Santa Fe Trail. It preserves artifacts and manuscripts related to the blending of the major cultures along the Trail and features  interpretive exhibits, learning programs and resource materials. The outdoor portion of the museum includes a sod house, schoolhouse, and dugout. Located two miles west of Larned on Highway 156. Route 3, Larned, Kansas 67550, 620-285-2054.

Historic Sites:




Sibley's Camp -  This location was the August 31, 1825 campsite of the Santa Fe Road survey team and is currently being developed to give it the  semblance of its appearance in 1825. It is located at 502 W. Second in Larned, Kansas.


Discoverer of Pluto Historic MarkerHistoric Markers:


Discoverer of Pluto - Burdett is the boyhood home of Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto. Born in Illinois in 1906, he grew up on a farm northwest of here and was graduated from Burdett High School in 1925.

the Kansas State historical marker is located on Kansas Highway 156 on the west edge of Burdett.


Camp Criley, 1872 - Camp Criley was established in 1872 as a supply station for workmen building the Santa Fe Railroad, named changed to Garfield in 1873 by pioneers settling here.




This park was planned in 1880 and the first trees planted in April 1882. The Band Shell erected in the early 1900's used for many concerts by local musicians. Hitching Post and Stone Stile used in the early days by ladies when mounting their horse brought from the former A. H. Moffet place. Band Shell and stone fixtures were restored in 1975 with funds from Jordaan Foundation. M. A. W. Jordaan and sons were pioneer farmers in the area. Bricks in base of the sign are from the school building erected in 1884 and made in local kiln.


The Kansas State historical marker is located on US-56 in the City Park in Garfield, Kansas.


Coon Creek Crossing, Kansas

Coon Creek Crossing, photo courtesy Santa Fe Trail Research.


Coon Creek Crossing - This marker, placed by the Wet/Dry Route of the Santa Fe Trail Association is located just north of US Highway 56, about 1.5 miles west of Garfield, east of a bridge. Coon Creek, which meandered through the area, could be a troublesome crossing point, and was in an area of considerable hostile Indian activity. Wagon ruts are still visible on the north bank of the creek.




Birthplace of Farm Credit - This 280 acres was collateral for the nation's first Federal Land Bank loan made on April 10, 1917 to farmer-stockman A. L. Stockwell. In those days, farmers and ranchers found credit hard to come by. If available, it was often very expensive . . . as much as 10 percent per month.


Recognizing the importance of agriculture to our nation's economy, Congress passed the Federal Farm Loan Act which was signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. The Federal Land Bank, which makes long-term real estate loans to farmers and ranchers, was the first of the three lending institutions which comprise today's cooperative Farm Credit System.


Wichita was granted the first of 12 Federal Land Bank charters nationwide and charged with developing lending programs in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico. In turn, it issued the first local association charter to the Pawnee County National Farm Loan Association of Larned.


Originally started with seed money appropriated by Congress, the Farm Credit System has long since repaid all government funds. Today, it is entirely owned by the farmers and ranchers it serves.

The Kansas State historical marker is located on US-56, southwest of
Larned, Kansas.

Pawnee Fork Crossing - This marker, placed by the Wet/Dry Route of the Santa Fe Trail Association, is located near the U.S. Highway 56 bridge crossing Pawnee River. Railroad and highway construction have long since destroyed much of the historical integrity of the site, but its steep banks still show how difficult the crossing was. One of the most hazardous fords on the entire length of the Santa Fe Trail, the east bank was very steep and was 20-30 feet above the water. Though the west bank wasn’t as nearly as steep, it still required added teams and/or men to help pull the wagons up.



Compiled by Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated March, 2017.


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