Santa Fe Trail Swales
After spending the day in Baldwin City, I stopped briefly at the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve before heading home. The most interesting feature was the presence of swales (wagon ruts) from the Santa Fe Trail. It's amazing how deep these ruts are cut into the prairie soil, even after more than 150 years. There is a short, not-too-strenuous walking path through 18 acres of native grasses and wildflowers.
Located three miles east of Baldwin City on US Highway 56.
- Historical Travel
Civil War Monument - The Battle of Black Jack
An attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, is generally regarded as the beginning of the American Civil War. However, this monument, near present-day Baldwin City, Kansas, commemorates a battle that took place three years prior to that at Fort Sumter. The text on a nearby State Historical Marker reads:
The "battle" was part of the struggle to make Kansas a free state. In May, 1856, Proslavery men [from Missouri] destroyed buildings and newspaper presses in Lawrence, Free-State headquarters. John Brown's company then killed five Proslavery men on Pottawatomie creek not far from this spot. In retaliation Henry C. Pate raided near-by Palmyra and took three prisoners. Early on the morning of June 2 Brown attacked Pate's camp in a grove of black jack oaks about 1/4 mile south of this sign. Both sides had several wounded and numerous desertions before Pate and 28 men surrendered, Brown claiming he had only 15 men left. As evidence of civil war this fight received much publicity and excited both the North and South.*
This battlefield marker is located near the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve, which is three miles east of Baldwin on Hwy 56. Follow the signs from there.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
The tall stone building in...
The tall stone building in background behind general store is called Old Castle Museum. It is closed now but will reopen in a few months. I was lucky enough to go inside of it during the Maple Leaf Fest about a year earlier.
High Street is the main street...
High Street is the main street in down town Baldwin City. At 622 High St. is the Art Affair. There are some unique looking visual arts here.
This building is on the campus...
This building is on the campus for Baker University. It holds a small art museum. Baker University is at 618 8th street.