top of page

We celebrate and honor the indigenous people that first called this land home. Read about the Kaw Nation here.

Header-HistoricCG.jpg
Experience Council Grove : The Main Street of the Flint Hills

OUR RICH HISTORY

Council Grove is a favorite rendezvous on the Santa Fe Trail. Enjoy our historic town's quiet, friendly charm while touring the downtown historic district (on the National Register of Historic Places), dining at local restaurants, and shopping in unique stores.

 

You can stand on the site of the Council Oak where the first treaty was signed, establishing the right-of-way for passage on the Santa Fe Trail or in front of the historic Hays House 1857, Last Chance Store, or Terwilliger Home. Imagine the wagon trains passing by and almost hearing the creaking wagons, the plodding oxen, and the braying mules.

 

Located at the crossroads of Highways 56 and 177, Council Grove is nestled in the scenic tallgrass prairie of the Flint Hills. Like in trail times, rolling hills stretch as far as you can see across one of the world’s last true tall grass prairies. The Flint Hills’ beauty, quaint charm, warm hospitality, and old trail town lore captivate those who stop to visit...experiencing the present and past of the Flint Hills life with us in Council Grove.

25 HISTORIC PLACES

Our 25 Historic Sites brochure is a visitor favorite! We've created the perfect walking (or driving!) tour throughout Council Grove so that you and your friends and family can easily learn about the special places and events that our community's culture is built upon.

Learn about sites like our Post Office Oak, where weary travelers along the Santa Fe Trail would leave messages for loved ones and friends, or our Hermit's Cave. Where an Italian priest once spent 5 months before walking 550 miles to Las Vegas, Nevada.

An example of our 25 Historic Places in Council Grove brochure

Click to view PDF

Below are some of the 25 historic sites around town. Visitors will learn about an intersection of cultures between the Kanza (Kaw) tribe and Euro-Americans during the trail days through the tour. Kansas is named for the Kanza or Kaw tribe. Click on the brochure graphic above to view the PDF online.

THE SANTA FE TRAIL

Council Grove was named one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas History by the Kansas Sampler Foundation because it is a Santa Fe Trail National Historic Landmark town and is the site of an 1825 treaty that led to an intersection of cultures between Kaw Native Americans and Euro-Americans. 

From 1821-1866, the Santa Fe Trail was known as America's first international superhighway of trade and commerce. Spanning 900 miles between Missouri and Mexico, the trail brought together a cultural mosaic of individuals. In 1860 Seth Hays recorded 5,405 Mexican and Euro-American traders, 1,532 wagons, and 17,282 mules, oxen, and horses passed through Council Grove. 

Santa Fe Trail National Historic Trail Logo
Map of the Santa Fe Trail with an arrow pointing to Council Grove, Kansas

Explore more Council Grove
Historic Sites...

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Cottage House Hotel

Historic Hotel/Motel in Historic Council Grove Kansas, the Heart of The Flint Hills. Gift shop has many keepsakes to remember your stay.

620-767-6828

25 North Neosho Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Hays House 1857

Oldest Restaurant West of the Mississippi. We’ve been serving up homestyle Kansas cooking to a lengthy list of patrons on the Santa Fe Trail... including the likes of Jesse James, and General Custer!

620-767-5911

112 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Morris County Historical Society

We are non-profit volunteer organization that has a passion for preserving, protecting and maintaining Morris County, Kansas history. We are also the keeper of the county’s genealogical records.

620-767-7388

303 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Trail Days Cafe & Museum

Experience a taste of history in the food, stories, setting, and artifacts.

620-767-7986

803 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Durland Park

This park is a great place to have lunch in the shade and visit some of Council Grove’s historic sites including the old Cowboy Jail built in 1871, playground, picnic facilities, and Train Depot & Caboose.

512 East Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Madonna of the Trail

Erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to recognize and honor the "Pioneer Mothers of the Covered Wagon Days," the hardy women who made the long and sometimes dangerous trips along the Santa Fe and other National Old Trails Roads.

11 East Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Farmers & Drovers Bank

Farmers & Drovers Bank is a full service community bank serving the Flint Hills of Kansas since 1882

620-767-5138

201 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Kaw Mission

These state historic site locations in Council Grove will reopen in 2023. Be watching for more information about this project.

620-307-2754

500 North Mission Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Neosho Riverwalk & Park

The Neosho Riverwalk is a paved, scenic walking and bicycle trail along both sides of the river surrounding the most documented river crossing on the Santa Fe Trail.

620.767.5413

14 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Ag Heritage Park

At Ag Heritage Park, you will find the ultimate collection of memorabilia commemorating early ag-life in rural America.

620-767-2714

103 Main Street

Alta Vista

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Guardian of the Grove

This bronze statue, crafted by a local artist, contains many symbols important to the Kaw (Kanza) Indian Tribe, whose last Kansas home was located here in Council Grove. It was the Kanza Indians for which Kansas was named.

West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Post Office Oak Museum

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.

620.767.7388

22 East Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Flint Hills Books

A general interest, independent bookstore only 20 minutes from the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

620-767-5054

130 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Last Chance Store

These state historic site locations in Council Grove will reopen in 2023. Be watching for more information about this project.

620-307-2754

500 North Mission Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Trail Days Arts & History Center

The arts and history come alive at the Trail Days Arts and History Center

620-767-7986

803 West Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Council Oak Park

A shelter east of the Neosho River bridge protects the stump of the Council Oak.

620.767.5413

210 East Main Street

Council Grove

Icons-SocialMedia-WWW-Black.png

Hermit's Cave

Hermit's Cave... Where an Italian priest once spent 5 months before walking 550 miles to Las Vegas, Neveda.

200 North Belfry Street

Council Grove

Next Page

CouncilGrove.com
bottom of page