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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.


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Attractions and Upcoming Events

Peabody Downtown Walking Tour

33 sites along Walnut Street, the main street of Peabody, remarkably remain while most pioneer towns suffer losses from fires and storms. The oldest building dating to 1878, was first occupied by a bank, then the majority of other buildings were built in 1883.

Peabody, KS Tours

Carnegie Library

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie gave millions of dollars to establish libraries across America in the early 1900s. The women's study clubs of Peabody were determined to bring a Carnegie Library to Marion County - they were joined by civic leaders and county commissioners and obtained $10,000.00

Peabody, KS Carnegie Libraries

Peabody Driving Tour

The Peabody Driving Tour takes you beyond historic main street to view 27 beautiful works of architecture in churches and homes of the founding families dating from 1877, and then onto City Park, site of the 1885

Peabody, KS Tours

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 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

Things to do Landmarks near Peabody, KS