See also: | Kansas Heritage | Kansas History | The Interactive Santa Fe Trail | Kansas Sights |
The Santa Fe Trail Center opened its doors in 1974 and was accredited by the American Association of Museums three years later becoming one of the youngest museums in the nation to be granted such accreditation. A non-profit organization, the Center is l ocally owned and privately funded.
In 1991, the Santa Fe Trail Center was designated a certified site on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. It was the second site on the trail and the first site in Kansas to receive this important designation by the National Park Servi ce.
The museum's exhibits show the trail as a transportation route which blended the Indian, Spanish, and American cultures. Displays include prehistoric Indian artifacts, a Wichita Indian grass lodge, a full sized mounted buffalo, a commercial freight wagon, and an exhibit showing the Spanish influences on the trail.
The period of settlement along the ruts of the old trail, brought about by the coming of the railroad, is depicted in the museum by a series of rooms showing pioneer life in the early 1900's. An impressive collection of historic firearms showing the pro gression of weapons from flintlock to cartridge is also on display.
Outdoor exhibits on the Trail Center's 5-acre complex include a sod house, dugout home, limestone cooling house, one-room schoolhouse, and a Santa Fe Railroad depot. On special occasions, living history programs provide visitors with an insight into earl y pioneer life.
For those wishing to learn more about the trail, the Trail Center provides a research library and archives open to the public and free of charge.
The Santa Fe Trail Center is located 2 miles west of Larned on Kansas Highway 156. It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily Memorial Day through Labor Day. It is closed on Mondays the remainder of the year. It is also closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and N ew Year's Day. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for students 12-18, $1.00 for children 6-11, and free to pre-schoolers. Organized school groups are admitted at half-price. For more information about the Santa Fe Trail Center, call 620-285-2054.
Fort Larned Historical Society, Inc. Rural Route Three Larned, Kansas 67550 620-285-2054