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Bear Creek Pass


category : Pioneer History
This pass is one of the most interesting histories in the state of Kansas. Kearny County was fortunate in the creation of the sandhills, with the only natural pass through the low lying hills and sand dunes.

Bear Creek, rising in Colorado, entered the hills in Kearny County running mainly north to what was known as Clear Lake. This made a natural pass through the hills and was known as Bear Creek Pass. It was used before the white man's time by Indians and buffalo. In the seventies and eighties, buffalo hunters and bone pickers traveled it to get to the railroad at Lakin. From which point many carloads of hides and bones were shipped east.

As the Rock Island railroad was not built until 1888, cattle were taken through the Pass to Lakin and shipped to eastern markets.

From 1885 to 1887 it came into its own as a freight route and all transportation went through the Bear Creek Pass.


Come visit us in Lakin, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Round Red Barn

The Kearny County Historical Society has purchased the old, 12-sided barn on the west edge of Lakin. It was restored at its present site, and then moved to a foundation at the Museum Complex in 2001. The barn was built in 1909

Lakin, KS Historic Buildings

Old Commercial Hotel

The Commercial Hotel built in 1883 and run by Mrs. W.P. Loucks, had a good trade. Mrs. Loucks, the genial hostess, was the pioneer hotel keeper of Lakin. She came here in 1879 when Lakin was a way station on the Santa Fe and opened an eating house for the railroad employees. "

Lakin, KS Historic Buildings

Loucks Municipal Park

Sunshine and fresh air abound at Loucks Municipal Park, two miles west of Lakin on U.S. HWY 50. Donated by Charles A. and Rhonda Loucks in 1950, Loucks is an 80

Lakin, KS Recreation

Columbian School House

The Columbian Schoolhouse, built in 1893, was named after the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. Later shortened to Columbia, the school conducted its last class approximately 1945. This one room school was moved to the museum site from 15 miles north of Lakin and restored in 1984.

Lakin, KS Historic Schoolhouses

Charlie's Ruts

About four miles east of Lakin on highway 50

Lakin, KS Pioneer History

Things to do Pioneer History near Lakin, KS

The Jones & Plummer Trail

The first trail through the area was made by the Jones & Plummer Cattle Co., bringing their cattle from the Texas Panhandle o...

Aubey Route

The Aubrey Route, which left the Santa Fe Trail on the Arkansas River at Chouteau's Island and Indian Mound, west of Lakin, c...

The Mormon Batallion

On September 19, 1846 a 500 man Morman Battalion arrived at the Springs on their way to California to fight in the Mexican Wa...