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Peabody City Park


category : Landmarks
Peabody City Park Peabody's beautiful City Park has provided a meeting place for generations of community members. The idea of a park was perhaps established in 1876 when the tradition of having a county wide 4th of July celebration in a nearby grove of trees started. Friends got together and listened to patriotic speeches and enjoyed picnic lunches.

The Peabody City Park was first owned by the Marion County Fair Association. The State Fair was held on the grounds in 1885. There was an exhibition hall built with three wings and a race track equal to none other in Kansas. The grandstand would seat 2,000 people. Dining services and food to feed 10,000 people each day were brought from Emporia by train.

Joe Young was a renowned race horse who was owned and driven by Willis Westbrook. Joe Young sired Joe Patchen who sired a great racing horse, Dan Patch. Joe Young was injured in a storm and had to be destroyed. He is buried in a standing position two miles west of Peabody on Hwy. 50.

The grounds were turned over to the City of Peabody shortly after 1900. The Chautauqua, a program bringing culture to rural America, was held here from 1907 to 1920. Wooden benches were placed under large tents. Season tickets sold for $2.00 and $1.00 in 1910.

One of the oldest buildings in Peabody is the octagonal Floral Exhibition Hall in the park. It was completed in September, 1881 and is the only remaining building used during the 1885 State Fair.

In 1999, the park can boast of many additional varieties of trees including Bradford pears, bald cypress, sweet gum and perhaps the biggest pin oak tree in Kansas.

Fireworks in the park may date back to the original settlers but recorded history says the public shows were first done by the Peabody Kiwanis Club and later by the Chamber of Commerce. Wonderful shows have taken place over the years and at some points it was estimated that up to 30,000 people attended the displays annually.

Along with the historic significance as the site of the 1885 State Fair, the park still remains a large and beautiful area for picnics and gatherings as well a city festivals. There's playground equipment, ball fields, and a municipal swimming pool adjacent to the park.


Come visit us in Peabody, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Prairie Lawn Cemetery

Of special interest in the Prairie Lawn Cemetery whose association began in 1880, is its close connection with the Civil War.Around 125 graves of veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic are found here. According to the Peabody Historical Society, more may exist, although they are unmarked.

Peabody, KS Cemeteries

Peabody Printing Museum

The Peabody Printing Museum is a collection of hot type equipment dating from 1870 to 1920. Not only is this Museum an attraction for those visiting Peabody, it also serves as a memorial to the thousands of "ink-stained wretches"

Peabody, KS Museums

Peabody City Park

Peabody's beautiful City Park has provided a meeting place for generations of community members. The idea of a park was perhaps established in 1876 when the tradition of having a county wide 4

Peabody, KS Landmarks

Peabody Museum Historical Complex

The 1874 frame building given by railroad executive, F.H. Peabody, to express his appreciation for the town being named for him was the first free library in the State of Kansas, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He gave 2,000

Peabody, KS Museums

Morgan House

The Morgan House is a two story Queen Anne Cottage built by W.H. Morgan, first editor of the Peabody Gazette, for his family in 1881

Peabody, KS Museums

Things to do Landmarks near Peabody, KS

Santa Fe Trail Ruts

Still etched in the prairie, the 175-year-old Santa Fe Trail ruts carved their niche in our nation's history by helping move ...