Historic Council Grove Today
Take Historic Tour

They Gathered at the Grove

The name "Council Grove" originated from treaty negotiations conducted here in 1825. The treaty, forged between U.S. commissioners and Osage Indian chiefs, granted whites safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail.

The site of Council Grove was a camping and meeting place for Native Americans, explorers, soldiers, and Santa Fe Trail traders. Here they found ample water, grass, and abundant wood due to the extensive groves of hardwood timber. As a rendezvous point for caravans moving west on the Santa Fe Trail, Council Grove provided both Hispanic and American travelers an opportunity to repair wagons and secure provisions in preparation for the long overland trip to Santa Fe.

The Kaw (or Kanza) Indians lived in three villages located three, seven, and ten miles southeast of Council Grove from 1848 until their removal south to Indian Territory in 1873.

Noted personalities such as John C. Fremont, Kit Carson, George Armstrong Custer, and the great Kaw chief Allegawaho are associated with Council Grove. Early-day settler Seth Hays was the great grandson of Daniel Boone and Kit Caron’s cousin. Today the famous Hays House Restaurant still operates in the store building constructed by Seth Hays in the late 1850s. Because of efforts to preserve our many historic buildings and sites, Council Grove offers visitors an encounter with authentic western American history.

hayshouse250.jpg (9011 bytes)

Visitors to Council Grove can follow a twenty-one site historical tour of the town. The tour route is marked by directional signs and each site has an interpretive sign. Additionally, a tour guide brochure identifies each site. The touring experience is augmented by nine newly-installed wayside exhibits which interpret the sites listed by the National Park Service as National Historic Santa Fe Trail Sites.

Council Grove

For more information about the historic sites, 
click on the numbers above, or the list of historic sites below.

  1. Kaw Mission State Historic Site NR, NT
2. Old Bell Monument
  3. Hermit’s Cave NT
4. Last Chance Store NR, NL, NT
5. Santa Fe Trail Ruts
  6. Cottage House Hotel NR
7. Farmers and Drovers Bank NR
8. Conn Stone Store NT
9. Council Grove National Bank Building NR
10. Hays House NL NT
11. Seth Hays Home NR NL NT

12. The Custer Elm
13. Neosho River Crossing NT
14. The Madonna of the Trail
15. Post Office Oak and Museum NL NT
16. Council Oak NL NT
17. Durland Park
18. Neosho Riverwalk
19. Guardian of the Grove Statue
20. Terwilliger Home/Trail Days House
21. Old Stone Barn NR
22.  Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park NR
23.  Bur Oak Tree
24. Other Sites of Interest

NR–Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
NT–Listed on the National Historic Santa Fe Trail
NL– Site on the Council Grove National Historic Landmark District

Related Links: 
Council Grove Convention and Visitors Bureau

Call 800-732-9211 for Brochure and Tour Itinerary
or email to: visitors@councilgrove.com