PAWNEE ROCK — On May 28, the city of Pawnee Rock will celebrate 125 years, beginning the day with a parade at 10 a.m. An event button will be for sale for $3 with different historic scenes. Activities are free with the button.
Following the parade, there will be a veteran’s Memorial Day remembrance at the Pawnee Rock cemetery at 11 a.m. followed by a chicken dinner at the Christian Church. The cost is a free will offering.
There will also be hamburgers or hot dogs at Praise Ranch,the old Pawnee Rock school. From noon to 2 p.m., they will also offer tours.
At 5 p.m., there will be an ice cream social at the New Jerusalem Church, 300 Santa Fe Ave.
From 1-4 p.m. there will be memorabilia displays at the City Hall and Depot.
During the day, there will be a scavenger hunt, and a 3 on 3 basketball game. The Hot Peppers Jump Rope Club from Larned will exhibit their skills at 1:30 p.m.
A historic speaker will be at the New Jerusalem Church from 2-3 p.m.
There will also be horseshoes all day located near the depot.
There will be T-shirts for sale and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
The winner of the scavenger hunt will receive a $50 prize.
History of Pawnee Rock
One-half mile north of U.S. 56 and the town of Pawnee Rock is Pawnee Rock State Historic Site which was a monument to travellers on the Santa Fe trail. It marks the halfway point on the Santa Fe Trail between Independence, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico lying between long stretches of dry plains. Water from the Arkansas River and the large amounts of fresh game were necessary to the survival of the settlers.
The monument is a stone pole building above the stone.
Although the rock was one of the most famous landmarks along the 750-mile trail, it also became known as one of the most dangerous points, as the Pawnee Indians began ambushing the caravans. Word of the attacks spread from one end of the trail to the other, but the wagon trains still stopped there.
Originally the rock was much larger than it is now. A great deal of stone was taken from the bluff and used by settlers and the railroad.
On May 24, 1912, a stone monument was dedicated with a celebration of eight thousand people. According to the Ellinwood Leader May 16, 1912 edition, the Mid-Continental Aeroplane Co. of Howard, Kan. made flights and exhibitions during the morning.
The advent of the railroad marked the end of the Santa Fe Trail. The railroad was a major form travel and brought much needed coal for heating and cooking into the area.