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The dry clear air of the Prairies, the consciousness of actually entering those very scenes I had read of with such delight… and the feeling of independence naturally produced by cantering along on a good horse over such a boundless extent of open country, free from the trammels of civilised life gave me (& I believe all of us) an elasticity of spirits which even the enervating effects of my illness could not altogether repress. Having no money, nor need of it for the time, was also another cause of lightness of feeling which, we all remarked as quite delightful.

--- William Fairholme, 1840.

Photo of Harmon Park Water Tower.

Water Tower and historical marker, 7727 Delmar - Prairie Village, KS

Harmon Park is situated on the southern branch of the trail from Westport and is recognized as a National Park Service Certified Site on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. It is one of the few confirmed places in Johnson County where physical evidence of the trail can be seen today.

Rounded depressions in the ground called swales are visible diagonally across the park. These swales were originally sharply defined ruts worn into the ground by thousands of cattle, oxen and wagons. Slight shifts in the wagon path, as well as years of weathering, smoothed these ruts to their current gently sloping indentations.

A partnership of federal and local governments and private citizens created Harmon Park in the early 1990s in order to preserve physical evidence for future generations.    next slide

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Return to the Exhibit homepage. Return to the Shawnee Indian Agency page. Go to the Shawnee Methodist Mission page.
Go to the Shawnee Methodist Mission page. Go to the Boones Fork page. Go to the Shawnee Mission Indian Agency page. Go to the Sampling Grove page. Go to the Flat Rock Creek page. Go to the Captain's Creek page. Go to the Elm Grove page. Go to the Lone Elm page. Go to the Trail Junction & Bull Creek page. More on California Rd. More on Ft. Leavenworth Military Road. More on the Oregon California Trail More on the Westport Route. More on the Independence Route More on the Santa Fe Trail.
1 Shawnee Indian Agency 7 Elm Grove
2 Harmon Park 8 Lone Elm
3 Shawnee Methodist Mission 9 Trail Junction & Bull Creek
4 Boones Fork 10 Captain's Creek
5 Sapling Grove 11 Onward
6 Flat Rock Creek 12 Acknowledgements