Post Office Oak Museum
Museum, Attraction, History, Education, Recreation, Historic Site, 25 Historic Sites
Santa Fe Trail travelers left messages at the foot of this tree, to inform others of trail conditions, giving it its name, "Post Office Oak". The tree died in 1990 and its stump has been preserved on the site.
From 1828 to 1847, Santa Fe Trail travelers left messages in a cache at the foot of this tree, to inform others of trail conditions, giving it its name, "Post Office Oak". The tree died in 1990 and its stump has been preserved on the site. The adjacent stone house was built in 1864 as a residence, with a brewery in the basement. It now is a museum operated by the Morris County Historical Society.
The Post Office Oak Museum in Council Grove, Kansas is operated by the Morris County Historical Society in a native stone building which was built in 1864 and housed a brewery in the basement.
The name of the museum comes from the stump of the Post Office Oak in the front yard, which local tradition says was used to leave messages and letters during the days the Santa Fe Trail was active.
The building was built by Francis Xavier Hebrank, who emigrated from Germany 5 years earlier. The upper two floors served as a home, while a brewery operated out of the basement.
The museum consists of period furnishings in some of the rooms and Council Grove history exhibits in others. Displays include medical equipment, school furnishings, cameras, railroad memorabilia and the wood carvings of Merlin V. Houser, who lost his right hand at age 56 and learned to carve with his left hand during his recovery.
A typical visit will probably take 30 minutes or less.
A tour of this building can be combined with the nearby Seth Hays Home, which was built in 1867 the founder of Council Grove, Seth M. Hays. It is now furnished with period furniture and only open by appointment.