SANTA FE TRAIL POINTS OF INTEREST
CAMP GRIERSON & LITTLE ARKANSAS RIVER CROSSING
P Ave., between 30th Rd. and Plum Ave. (31st Rd.), South of Windom, KS
In 1865 and again in 1867, troops were stationed here, and this was originally called Station Little Arkansas. It was later named Camp Grierson in honor of Col. Benjamin Grierson of civil war fame.
The Little Arkansas River crossing was located less than a mile over McPherson County's west line into Rice County. At the Little River crossing, a major point of interest was the Stone Corral, which is no longer there. This was a Trading Ranch on the Santa Fe Trail. Stones that were laid for the wagons to cross on while fording the stream are said to be still visible when the water is low.
FRY RUTS P Ave., between 28th Rd. and 30st Rd., South.of Windom, KS
Trail ruts can be seen to the south of Avenue P in the Fry pasture. A silhouette of oxen pulling a wagon along the Trail can be seen behind the ruts in the pasture.
STONE CORRAL 30th Rd., between P Ave. and O Ave., South of Windom, KS
About 1000 feet south of the Little Arkansas River crossing, on the west side of the river, was located the long since dismantled Stone Corral, a 200 x 300-foot stone enclosure that provided accommodations and protection for travelers. Also, in the area are the “Depressions” - what are left of dugouts along the riverbank where soldiers protecting the trail lived.
SWANSON SWALES ¾ mile north of the corner of Plum Ave. (31st Rd.) & P Ave.,
South of Windom, KS
In the Swanson’s pasture is one of the best sets of ruts found on the Santa Fe Trail. These ruts are lined up 8 or 9 wide and are very deep. This is the area where wagon masters would use double and triple teams of oxen and mules for the trip across the ford of the Little Arkansas, which accounts for why the trail widened out so much right there.
MODERN DAY CONVENIENCES
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CITY HALL SENIOR CENTER
611 Main St. 601 Main St.
-Built in 1937 - Coffee: Tu.-F 7:30- 10 AM
- Pancakes/Waffles/Sausage and Coffee:
Sat. 7:30-10:30 AM
- Covered Dish Dinner:
4th Monday of the Month, 6:30 PM
CELEBRATION CENTER INN & SUITES LYONS INN
1108 E US Hwy 56 • (620) 680-6022 817 W Main • (620) 257-5185
LYONS FREE OVERNIGHT TRAILER PARK
711 W Taylor • (620) 257-2320
FAIRFIELD INN AND SUITES HAMPTON INN
2270 E. Kansas Ave. • (620) 7504-5353 200 N. Centennial St. • (620) 480-2990
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS THE EXECUTIVE INN
2302 E. Kansas Ave. • (620) 241-5566 2110 E. Kansas • (620) 241-8881
BEST WESTERN PLUS
200 N Champlin St. • Coming Soon!
The town of Windom was originally named Laura, which was established
July 8, 1880. This date is disputed by the county courthouse records,
which indicate the town plat was filed on January 11, 1881. The plat for
Laura is listed in the 1884 Edwards McPherson County Atlas. The name
Laura, however, caused confusion with mail between Larned and Laura
on the same railroad line and the name was changed to Windom.
The post office was established on April 9, 1884.
One of the points of historic importance in the Windom area is the location of the old Stone Corral and the Little Arkansas Crossing for the Santa Fe Trail. Four sites make up the Little Arkansas complex: Swanson's Swales, Camp Grierson, the Stone Corral Site/Little Arkansas Ranch site and just to the west, the Fry Ruts. There are site identifications and interpretive signs at each site. The Stone Corral was described as 300 to 400 feet in rectangular shape, made of native limestone quarried from nearby bluffs. The walls were seven feet high and two feet wide at the top and three feet wide at the base. The stones were laid without mortar. The only gateway to the fort was at the southeast corner. On each side there were three portholes, about 8-10 inches wide on the inside and 20 inches wise on the outside, tapering to give maximum range of vision.
Soldiers were stationed in the mid 1860s at Camp Grierson
(also known as Station Little Arkansas) near the Stone Corral to
protect the mail, as well as travelers, wagons and livestock.
Signs of the camp can still be seen as indentions in the ground.
Evidence of the Santa Fe Trail is still visible near the Little
Arkansas Crossing. Swanson's Swales lead up to the main
crossing and the Fry Ruts, about a mile southwest of the crossing, provide evidence of the Trail heading southwest, still visible in the pasture.
Want further information about what Windom, KS has to offer? Visit the City of Windom website.
2021 WINDOM EVENTS
Spring - Windom Elementary School Greenhouse Sale