July 13, 2024


Shawnee Mission Fall Festival



I live in the Shawnee Mission School District in Overland Park, Kansas which is within the Shawnee Mission U.S. Postal Zone. Today I drove along Mission Road to the intersection with Shawnee Mission Parkway.  Do you see a pattern here?  The reason? Kansas City has a prominent frontier history which is celebrated in various subtle ways.  My office for example is located in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. And yes, city and street names, school districts and mascots, even the name of a local postal zone pay tribute to our pioneer days as well as the history of Native Americans.

My driving destination today was the Shawnee Indian Mission, a Kansas State Historic site located in the Southern Kansas City area. The Shawnee Indian Mission was established here in 1830 by Methodist Missionaries to minister to the needs of the Shawnee Indian Tribes. Schools and educational programs were added in1839, providing training to students from various Native American tribes until the mission closed in1862. The Shawnee Mission was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

Each year The Shawnee Indian Mission Fall Festival celebrates the Mission’s history with food, exhibits, re-enactors, and loads of local arts and crafts.  This was the 30th year for the Fall Festival and everyone had a great time.



One of several original buildings from 1839, it was used for classrooms and living quarters for staff.  Territorial officials also had offices here.



The out buildings tend to be a bit more basic.



Cabin interior with meal preparation in process.



Stretched hides and Tepee.






Many trails west originated in Kansas City including the Oregon Trail.  The Pony Express route departed from an area just north of Kansas City.



A mule drawn wagon offered youngsters a ride around the festival.


Pioneer and Native American crafts and goods.


smf-buffalo   smf-bbq

Lots of good food – maybe a buffalo burger?  Or some absolutely delicious BBQ?


smf-cavalry         smf-corn


And here is a taste of some period music – played on guitar and dulcimer.


The Shawnee Indian Mission Fall Festival …………………..Enjoy The Adventure!



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