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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

The Prairie Center

The rich natural history of Kansas has been preserved with 300 acres of native tall grass prairie, woodlands and creeks. The diverse biomes comprise virgin tallgrass prairie, reseeded tallgrass prairie, riparian woodlands, and wetland areas. The center is a suburban island that was farmed until 1968

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

Whittaker Flower Farm

If You Love Flowers, You'll Love the Farm! Come to the Whittaker Flower Farm in Olathe, Kansas and you'll find a field of flowers...six acres, to be exact. Everything from old fashioned Zinnias to exotic Leonotis (Lion's Ear). Over 125

Olathe, KS Botanical Gardens

Things to do near Olathe, KS

Middle Creek Theater

We have live country music every Saturday night at 7:30 pm. We also have special shows such as shows with "The Bellamy Broth...

Merriam Parks

Visit one of Merriam's beautiful parks or walk and bike the Turkey Creek Streamway trail. Park hours are from sunrise to suns...