We have enjoyed driving part of the historic Route 66 in this area. Today we drove about ten miles from Miami, Oklahoma to visit the historic town of Baxter Springs, Kansas.
Baxter Springs is rich in it's history, ranging from Civil War battles, lead and zinc mining, gangster robberies in the 1930's and Route 66 commerce. We had hoped to visit the Baxter Museum, but it was closed today. We did enjoy seeing the old bridge and springs outside the museum.
Baxter Springs was settled in 1849 by John J. Baxter on 160 acres of land. He started an inn and general store known as Baxter's place near what is now known as military Road, but at the time featured springs known for their healing properties by the natives.
For a while Baxter Springs was a booming cattle town with space for 20000 head of cattle. But the extension of the railroad into Texas made that obsolete.
On October 6th, 1863, the Baxter Springs Massacre/Battle happened. William Quantrill killed most of the men of General James Blunt in a surprise attack outside Baxter Springs leaving very few of the union soldiers alive. The attack continued against an unprepared Lt. James Pond an Ft. Blair in Baxter Springs. Some of the victims are laid to rest in the National Cemetery to the east of Baxter Springs itself.
It was a cool town to explore, we enjoyed our visit much. This will be out last update from this area, we are heading back to Branson in the morning. I had a wonderful birthday, lots of great food and fun exploring the area. Check back later for more.