A tour through Geary County will inspire thoughts of the early settlers who journeyed westward on the trails of yesteryear. In the very heart of America's heartland, the pioneers discovered majestic vistas and rolling waves of tallgrass priaire lands characteristic of the picturesque Flint Hills. It is a region full of stories about courage, greed, determination, and innovation, where spritis of soldiers, Indians, and immigrants join scientists, students, and nature lovers.
Forts were built along major trails to protect white settlers from the Indians, and Fort Riley went on to play a key role in American military history. It was Cavalry Headquarters after the Civil War ... a story well told at the U.S. Cavalry Museum. Since World War I, members of Fort Riley's First Infantry Division, the "Big Red One," have been prominently protecting us aginst modern marauders, from Germany to Iraq.
Kansas' soldiers are honored at the Kansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Junction City, the county seat and metropolitan center of Geary County. While in Junction City, visit the Geary County Historical Museum which houses three galleries focusing on the history of the area in a native limestone structure dating back to 1903.
Visitors are surprised to see all the water in our region. Milford Reservoir is the largest lake in Kansas. It is a great tour stop where the Nature Center studies Kansas' wildlife, and the Fish Hatchery is among the country's finest.
Geary County, originally bore the name "Davis County" in 1855. For several years the citizens of Davis County complained about living in an area named for the President of the Confederate States of America, even though he was a Secretary of War when the county was named for him. In 1889, the county's name was changed to Geary after John W. Geary, Governor of Kansas Territory.
Explore Geary County
The First Baptist Church was organized in Junction City on November5, 1865. This building was dedicated January 27, 1867, and served as the Baptist Church until the adjacent building was occupied in 1917. Under the stucco exterior are the original native limestone blocks.Junction City, KS Historic Churches
This cabin was built in 1857 by the C.F. Wetzel family. In 1861, a Lutheran congregation was organized in this cabin and a missionary by the name of F.W. Lang used this cabin to lead worship services. The original site of the cabin was near Clark's Creek. The cabin was restored in 1955Grandview Plaza, KS Pioneer Life
The Spring Valley Heritage Site, located west of Junction City at the intersection of Highway 18 and Spring Valley Road features a restored 19th century one-room schoolhouse and related out buildings. An 1870 period homesteader's hewn-log cabin has been relocated at the site.Junction City, KS Historic Schoolhouses
The Old Trooper has become a symbol at Fort Riley of the proud heritage of the Horse Cavalry. It is modeled after the drawing of "Old Bill," the cavalry soldier drawn by famous western artist, Frederic Remington. This sketch is displayed in the Cavalry Museum'Fort Riley, KS Memorials