By Jim Misunas
Two Pawnee County sites along the Santa Fe Trail are among four area nominations by the Kansas Historical Society for consideration for the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C.
The Fort Larned National Historic Site (1966) and Ralph’s Ruts in Rice County (1995) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Boyd’s Ranch Site and the Pawnee Fork Crossing (Dry Route) and The Coon Creek Crossing and Fort Larned Military Road have been nominated for the historical honor.
Manweiler-Maupin Chevrolet of Hoisington and the Miller Farmstead in Rush County were also nominated to be considered for the National Register of Historic Places.
Amanda Loughlin with the Kansas Historical Society wrote the nomination in conjunction with the Santa Fe Trail Association and the National Park Service. The National Trails System of the National Park Service has partnered with the Kansas Historical Society to document historic resources along the historic Santa Fe Trail.
“It’s a major deal that has brought Kansas national attention,” said Joanna VanCoevern, Santa Fe Trail Association manager. “Anytime you have a site that is being considered for the National Registry, it raises awareness from people who want to see such historical sites.”
VanCoevern said the two Pawnee County sites have been well documented historically by David Clapsaddle of Larned. They are marked with limestone markers and feature interpretative panels.
“The local landowners have been very cooperative,” she said. “Once you’re a National Historic site, the land owners take extra measures to protect that property.”
Both the Pawnee Fork Crossing and Boyd’s Ranch were located along the 1859 branch of the Dry Route of the Santa Fe Trail. The Dry Route is named as such because it was a route along the trail that provided few stops along the way for water. The crossing was used by travelers headed to Fort Larned and by mail wagons and stagecoaches, who preferred the shorter route. The popularity of this crossing and its location near Fort Larned, which was established in 1859, eventually led to the establishment of a road ranch in 1865.
A. H. Boyd provided provisions to hunters in the area and built a wooden bridge at the crossing that he turned into a toll bridge. It is nominated for its significance in the areas of transportation, commerce, and social history, and it has the potential to yield additional important information related to trail ranches and crossings.
The Coon Creek Crossing and Fort Larned Military Road Segment is 11/2 miles from Garfield in Pawnee County.
The Fort Larned Military Road meets the Wet Route of the Santa Fe Trail near this crossing of Coon Creek in Pawnee County, Kansas. The Wet Route, which followed the Arkansas River through this area, was actively used by trail travelers from 1821 to 1872.
The military road linked Fort Larned to the Wet Route from 1859 to 1867, allowing soldiers to aid and protect travelers. The site consists of a narrow piece of property adjacent to U.S. 56 at its crossing over Coon Creek with trail-era resources that include distinct cutdowns along the creek’s bank, a trail-related dugout, and two sections of trail swales.
It is nominated for its significance in the areas of transportation, commerce, and the military, and it has the potential to yield additional important information about trail crossings and early military activities in central Kansas.
Thirty nominations of properties along the Santa Fe Trail are being prepared as part of this project, which is led by Amanda Loughlin. Twelve nominations have been completed and considered by the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review.
The Manweiler-Maupin Chevrolet Dealership in downtown Hoisington was constructed in 1944. The Hoisington-based dealership was founded in 1928 by J.B. Slade. The business has been owned and operated by Slade’s great-grandson Gene Manweiler since 1998. It is nominated as part of the Roadside Kansas multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of commerce and architecture.
Slade sold the business to his two sons-in-law, August Manweiler and Wayne Maupin, in 1937. Plans and specifications were provided by Mann and Company of Hutchinson. The building reflects the Streamline Art Moderne style with the curved showroom, rounded corner, use of glass block and horizontal banding around the building.
The Miller Farm is four miles east of La Crosse and one mile west of Bison. Frank and Emma Seuser Miller established this farmstead east of La Crosse in 1881. Emma’s family arrived in 1877 from Wisconsin.
Frank first lived on another homestead in Rush County and later claimed this land as a Timber Claim, and it was on the claim that they built their permanent house and farmstead. It developed into a subsistence farm with livestock and grain being produced.
The Miller Farmstead features 19 buildings and structures. With the exception of a windmill, nothing has been torn down or removed in the property’s history. The farmstead owned by Frank and Emma’s grandson, Virgel Miller, and his wife Kathryn.
Twelve of the National Register nominations are the result of a partnership between the Kansas Historical Society and the National Trails System of the National Park Service to document historic resources along the Santa Fe Trail.
In conjunction with these nominations, the board approved a revision of the “Historic Resources of the Santa Fe Trail” National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form, which originally was approved in 1994. This document serves as a cover document rather than a nomination to the National Register, with the purpose of establishing a basis of eligibility for related properties. In other action, the board voted against retaining the National Register status of a schoolhouse that is to be relocated, but the board voted in favor of the school remaining in the Register of Historic Kansas Places after it is moved.
The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of historically significant properties. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
Nominated for the Register of Historic Kansas Places was Red Barn Craft Studio, 212 S Main, Lindsborg, McPherson County and the State Bank of Eudora in Douglas County.
Others nominated for the National Register were Daniel & Maude Walters House, Riley County; Charles & Elizabeth Haskell French House, Lawrence and Bethany Brethren Church, Brown County; French Frank’s Santa Fe Trail Segment, Marion County; Sawlog Creek Crossing, Ford County; Santa Fe Trail in Kearny County and Grant County; and Point of Rocks and Cimarron National Grassland in Morton County.
For information, access the websites http://www.nps.gov/nr/; kshs.org/14638; and kshs.org/14633.