Sunday Snapshot: Don’t Overlook Overbrook

Overbrook Kansas Mural

A mural decorates a building in present-day Overbrook. The mural depicts the town’s history: city hall (which is still in use), the M.E. Church, the railroad that  prompted the founding of the town site, and the thousands of wagons that crossed the area as they followed the  Santa Fe Trail.

The Santa Fe Trail crossed the town site for more than 60 years before the town was founded in 1886 by W. T. Coffman and J. B. Fairchild, who gave land to ensure the Nebraska-Kansas-Dakota Railroad would build through the town site.  While the railroad is gone–in fact, a former rail line is now the Landon Nature Trail–many of the historic sites of the Santa Fe Trail remain. Trail ruts can still be seen where they enter the town outside of the present-day Overbrook Cemetery. U.S. 56, which loosely follows the Santa Fe Trail, crosses through the town, which is just large enough to support a library and several businesses.

5 thoughts on “Sunday Snapshot: Don’t Overlook Overbrook

  1. Veronica

    That mural is the coolest! Very hard to overlook-lol. When you say “trail ruts” do you mean ruts made by wagons?! Omgoodness, that is incredible. I love stuff like that. There used to be an old metal sign on a busy street near our house that said to call before you dig, with an old telephone number that could have dated back to as early as 1910, as the number, which only had like 5 digits, was just like the Bell numbers I saw in the ads of the Eagle Beacon newspapers from that time at the library. But it was so unnoticeable that I really only saw it five times, though I passed it every day, before suddenly…it was gone. Removed. I know it is ridiculous but my heart still aches for that sign and while I didn’t notice it much when it was there, I find myself looking at the spot where it stood all the time now. I wish I’d have gotten a piece of that surviving history before they’d taken it down. 😦

    Wow. I just went off on a total tangent!! Sorry. anyway, I love this photograph! Thanks for sharing some of Overbrook’s history!

  2. Diana Staresinic-Deane Post author

    The energy in your post made me laugh. Yes, by trail ruts, I mean the places where the wagons scarred the ground so that you can see the tracks. In some places, they’re really hard to see – the grass has to be just the right height or the sun has to be in just the right place – but in other places, they’re really obvious. I talk about trying to find the ones in Lyon County here: and then there are ones that are really obvious near Dodge City, which I talk about here: (look for an arch of tracks to the north of the highway through the squiggling river). I also know of trail tracks near Council Grove, and I’ll be on the lookout for the ones in Osage County and Douglas County now!

    Sadly, they will fade over time.Dirt has a way of filling in, washing away, getting plowed under, getting paved over. Two hundred years from now, we might not be able to see most of them. But for now, there’s something spectacular about picturing people in a wagon bravely making their way over the lonely trail, wondering what would happen next.

    1. Veronica

      I realized I said “got a piece” and have no idea why I typed that, when what I meant to say was taken a picture. I really miss seeing it.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing those–it’s so incredible to me that you can see the Santa Fe trail track from an aerial view like that. It’s exactly as you said, spectacular to see something still in place from history (other than buildings), imagining the people that took that path.

  3. Mr. V.

    Nice image, and I’ll have to head its message and not overlook the place. One of these days, I’ll swing through.

    By the by, at my blog, on the “The Beauty Of Kansas” link at the very top, I’ve uploaded some new photos from an excursion my son and I went on today: some from the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway and some from the town of Atchison. I think you’ll like the images.


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