PointofInterestRoadSigns.com - Kansas - Pawnee Rock Historical Marker


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Pawnee Rock Historical Marker


Location of sign - Located on the lawn of the county courthouse in Medicine Lodge, Kansas


Photo taken -  July 2007


Pawnee Rock Historical Marker, Kansas

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Wayne


Text of sign:

Pawnee Rock


A mile northeast is Pawnee Rock, a famous landmark on the Santa Fe Trail.  Considered the mid-point of the long road between

Missouri and New Mexico, Pawnee Rock was a symbol of challenges overcome.  May early travelers mentioned it in their journals

and many of them scratched their names into its soft surface.  Here young Kit Carson, standing guard one dark night in 1826, is 

said to have shot his own mule, mistaking it for a Pawnee.  Perhaps it was his unkind companion who named Pawnee Rock to 

commemorate the young man's blunder.


Freighters, soldiers, goldseekers, and emigrants admired the rock as they paraded by on the trail.  In later years local settlers and

railroad builders quarried the rock down to about half its original height.  An overlook monument, and historical sign now grace

its reduced summit.


Erected by the Kansas State Historical Society & Kansas Department of Transportation.


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