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Council Grove, Kansas

Council Grove, Kansas

They Gathered at "The Grove." The name "Council Grove" originated from treaty negotiations conducted here in 1825. The treaty, forged between U.S. commissioners and Osage Indian chiefs, granted whites safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail.

The site of Council Grove was a camping and meeting place for native Americans, explorers, soldiers and Santa Fe Trail traders. Here they found ample water, grass and abundant wood due to the extensive groves of hardwood timber. As a rendezvous point for caravans moving west on the Santa Fe Trail, Council Grove provided both Hispanic and American travelers an opportunity to repair wagons and secure provisions in preparation for the long overland trip to Santa Fe.

The Kaw (or Kansa) Indians lived in three villages located three, seven and ten miles southeast of Council Grove from 1848 until their removal south to Indian Territory in 1873.

Noted personalities such as John C. Fremont, Kit Carson, General Custer and the great Kaw chief, Al-le-ga-wa-ho, are associated with Council Grove. Town founder Seth Hays was the great grandson of Daniel Boone and Kit Carson's cousin.

Today the famous "Hays House" restaurant still operates in the store building constructed by Seth Hays in 1857. Because of efforts to preserve our many historical buildings and sites, Council Grove offers visitors an encounter with Authentic western American history.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Post Office Oak and Museum

This 300-year-old bur oak (just the trunk remains) served as the unofficial post office for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail from 1825-1847. Passing caravans could leave messages for future travelers in a cache in the base of the tree. A stone building erected in 1864

Council Grove, KS Landmarks

Council Grove National Bank Building

Completed in 1887, this bank that anchors a corner of downtown is a fine example of Western Commerical architecture. The exterior of the building was refurbished in 1974 and, after a 1978 fire, additional work restored the lobby to an appearance reminiscent of 1887. Listed on the

Council Grove, KS Historic Buildings

Custer Elm

Legend has it that while patrolling the Santa Fe Trail with his famous 7th Cavalry Regiment, George Armstrong Custer camped under the huge elm that flourished at this site. The massive trunk is all that remains of this tree that measured more than 100 feet tall and 16 feet around. Custer bought 120

Council Grove, KS Landmarks

Madonna of the Trail

This striking statue, depicting a pioneer mother with two children, pays tribute to the sturdy women of covered wagon days. The 10-feet-tall figure is made of pink Algonite stone and was erected in 1928

Council Grove, KS Memorials

Hermit's Cave

This tiny cave was the temporary home of an Italian hermit, Giovanni Maria Augustini, who lived here for a brief period in the spring of 1863. Later that year, the religious mystic left with a wagon train, walking the 500 miles to New Mexico.

Council Grove, KS Pioneer History

Things to do near Council Grove, KS

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