This marker, located near the Baxter Springs Historical Museum, designates a spot on the hunting trail used twice each year by Osage Indians. Chief Black Dog (1780-1848) established the trail which ran from east of present day Baxter Springs to the Great Salt Plains in north central Oklahoma. The Osage camped in this area close to the mineral springs, whose waters they believed contained miraculous healing powers.
A short but informative and interesting article regarding Chief Black Dog can be found at: digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/B/BL002
Before this building was donated to Baxter Springs for its library in 1905, it had served as city hall and a college. It was intended to be a courthouse when erected, the nearby town of Columbus was selected as county seat of Cherokee County. There are numerous stories across Kansas of the sometimes malicious contests between towns vying for the honor of becoming county seat. I imagine this is one of them. On the National Register of Historic Places.
Site of a 1863 Civil War battle in which Confederate troops, disguised as Union soldiers, and led by William Quantrill, massacred the out manned garrison of Fort Blair. Visit a replica of the earth and wood fort, as well as an informational kiosk.
Note - the plaque shown is not located at the site of the fort, but is included here for informational purposes.
The final resting place for those killed in the nearby Civil War battles of Baxter Springs and Fort Blair, as well as other area engagements. A stop on Baxter Springs' self-guided Civil War tour. Designated as an official Soldiers' Lot by the National Cemetery Association.
Many towns across the country sport historic murals on the side of business buildings. This one is unusual, being a bas relief mural (low or shallow relief sculpture). The sculptor has skillfully depicted many of the important events in the life of Baxter Springs, from the Osage Tribes who made their homes in the area through Civil War, its era as a cattle trail head, and into the days of the mining boom.
Several old gas stations remain from the glory days of Route 66, two of which caught my eye. One classic Phillips 66 station in town has been restored and is currently used as Baxter Springs' Welcome Center. A DX station on the outskirts of town is no longer in use.
This restored rainbow or marsh arch bridge is located just north of Baxter Springs, and is no longer on the highway due to its narrow width. There is a one-way road through the bridge, however, allowing you to drive across it. I stayed at the bridge with my camera for an extended period of time, hoping somebody would come along in a classic old automobile. No luck. The 1923 structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There is a large contingent of nostalgic folks scattered across the country (and the globe) who are Fans of Route 66. You don't have to tell them where Baxter Springs is located. Many of them have visited this Kansas town of four thousand or so residents, as well as its neighbors Riverton and Galena. All are located on that 12.8 mile stretch of two-land highway known as Route 66.
Of course, Route 66 was once US Highway 66, originating in Chicago and meandering across middle and southwestern USA to Los Angeles, 2400 miles later. It was known as many things, such as "The Main Street of America," "The National Old Trails Highway," and simply as the Mother Road.
The section of Route 66 through Baxter Springs and Cherokee County is one of the best preserved, and has retained many of the attractions and roadside sites from its days of grandeur.
"This road is a bit on the zig-zag side again"
"Yep, it must have slowed them up quite a bit in the past. Still, I'm enjoying these 13 miles of Route 66 trundling through Kansas"
"Anything to see ?"
"Well there was a whole series of of those types of bridges that remind you of the Sydney Harbour bridge, and the one we are coming up to by Baxter Springs still remains.
They were actually called 'rainbow' bridges because of their shape."
"oh very scenic, nice"