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Olathe, Kansas

Olathe, Kansas

Olathe has always been an important destination - just as it is today. Among its earliest visitors were those who traveled the Santa Fe Trail, whether they were turn-of-the-century freighters ferrying cargo to the Southwest, farm families on the move to Oregon, or stagecoach travelers stopping at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm while making their way west.

The city was founded in 1857 on land covered with verbena and other wild flowers. Its name is derived from the Shawnee Indian word for "beautiful" and is pronounced "o-LAY-tha." Olathe played a vital role in Western expansion as the site where three historic trails - the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails - converged.

As a free state, Olathe was the scene of Civil War clashes and a raid by the notorious border ruffian William Quantrill and his followers. After the Civil War, businesses opened, churches and cultural centers were built, and the community flourished.

Olathe is the home of the cowboy boot; the Hyer family designed, manufactured, and sold the very first cowboy boot and had as clients some very famous cowboys, including Will Rogers, Tom Mix, and many others!

The Naval Air Station operated in Olathe from 1942 through 1970 on the site of the current New Century Air Center.

Olathe has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several decades and evolved into the dynamic community it is today. A 60-square-mile city, Olathe serves as the county seat of Johnson County - one of the most affluent counties in the country.

With a population of 105,000 people, Olathe is one of the fastest growing cities in metropolitan Kansas City and the state, but it retains a hometown flavor with a quality of life second to none. Olathe offers historic sites, including Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, more than 800 great hotel rooms, over 100 restaurants, the state's largest outlet mall, paintball, indoor racing cars, and more!

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm

J.B. Mahaffie purchased a 160-acre tract of ground 1-mile north of the town of Olathe, Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail in 1857. In 1863, J.B. and his wife, Lucinda Mahaffie, contracted to run a stagecoach stop. Serving meals in their cellar, the Mahaffies operated their business until around 1870

Olathe, KS Museums

Lone Elm Campground

Three miles south of Olathe on Lone Elm Road, on the main branch of the Santa Fe Trail, was the site of a spring (now enclosed in a small well)

Olathe, KS Landmarks

Ernie Miller Nature Center & Park

Enjoy this 113-acre park with three hiking trails, an education center, and an outdoor amphitheater where you can observe owls, hawks, and an indoor/outdoor beehive.

Olathe, KS Nature Centers

William J. Mara Museum - KS School for the Deaf

The Kansas State School for the Deaf is the oldest state educational institution in the State of Kansas. The School was founded by Philip A. Emery, a deaf man who had been a teacher at the Indiana School for the Deaf from 1854 to 1860

Olathe, KS Museums

Ensor Farm Historical Site and Museum

The barn at the Ensor Farmsite and Museum was constructed in 1890 of rough sawed lumber and wooden pegged beams houses displays of various farm hand tools, school shop projects and other items reflecting the diverse interests of the Ensor family. The architecture of the farmhouse built in 1892

Olathe, KS Museums

Things to do near Olathe, KS

Melissa Etheridge Commemorative Signs

Guitar-shaped signs honoring hometown girl, Grammy award winner, singer, musician, and songwriter Melissa Etheridge....

The Osawatomie City Lake

The Osawatomie City Lake is open for small craft boating and is stocked for fishing. The 75-acre recreational area provides a...