Zebulon Pike Plaza
Pawnee Fork Crossing
"Conquest of the Southwest"
"Zebulon Pike Expedition 1806-1807"
"Was Zebulon Pike the First?"
"Southwest Conspiracy"

Site of the Zebulon Pike Memorial Plaza Larned Kansas
"Dedication of the Zebulon Pike Plaza"
Finished Zebulon Pike Plaza, Larned, Kansas
Larned, Kansas Link to Zebulon Pike

"Photos of Pike Plaza in Progress"
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Page #6     Page #7     Page #8     Page #9     Page #10
Chamber Coffee at Plaza - 8-24-06      Chamber Coffee at Plaza - 8-24-06
"The First Zebulon Pike Memorial Plaza in Kansas"

The following information was presented to the Larned City Council
by David Clapsaddle, Wet/Dry Routes Chapter President
     Near the end of Lewis and Clark's journey to the Northwest and return to St. Louis, Lt. Zebulon Pike was dispatched to explore the Southwest. In short, what Lewis and Clark meant to the Northwest, Pike meant to the Southwest. What the Missouri River meant to Lewis and Clark, the Arkansas River meant to Pike. On October 29, 1806 Pike and his men crossed the Pawnee River near the south edge of present Larned. Pike's maps and notes were used by William Becknell in 1821 when he opened what we now call the Santa Fe Trail. To join the nationwide observance of the Pike Expedition, the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail is planning a celebration of Pike's presence at the Pawnee on October 29, 2006. The agenda is not complete at this date, but members of the Pike family will be in attendance.

     As you know, already in place near the bridge on U.S. 56 are several markers placed by the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Included are a bronze plaque and two interpretive markers related to the Santa Fe Trail, also grave stones honoring two soldiers who died and were buried nearby during the Mexican War in 1846 and 1847.

     The Chapter would like the opportunity to expand that small corner of the park with appropriate landscaping and signage related to the Pike Expedition. If such is approved, the Chapter would like to designate that area as the Zebulon Pike Plaza. This proposal does not request any city monies. The chapter will be pleased to defray the expenses and would seek the city's input on the details of the improvements. One item that would require consideration is the removal of the sand, gravel, and other road building materials that impinge on the area.

     Another related item is of interest. Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Adams arrived in Larned in 1873. Mr. Adams had only recently accepted the presidency of the Larned Town Company. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Adams' parents the Rev. and Mrs. Charles Sturdevant came also to the little settlement. The Rev. Sturdevant became one of the first ministers of Larned's Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Sarah Sturdevant was a niece of Zebulon Pike. In the summer of 1863, Larned's first marriage took place in the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, the Little Red House. Married were Pawnee County's first County Clerk, D. A . Bright and Miss Emma Post. Mr. Bright was the grandfather of Norman Grove, long time Larned citizen. Mr. Grove constructed the house at 215 Mann, presently owned by this writer. The Adams home is still in good repair at 207 East 16 St. and the Sturdevant home, also in good repair is at 1120 Toles.

     I shall appreciate your support in this proposal and shall be happy to provide any further information as requested.
David K. Clapsaddle
Larned, KS 67550

Plans for the Zebulon Pike Memorial Plaza Larned Kansas
Click on the Plans for a Larger View

October 9, 2005 Meeting
Zebulon Pike Memorial Plaza

     The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter has approved a plan to develop the east side of Larned’s City Park to commemorate the October 29, 1806 crossing of the Pawnee River by Zebulon Pike. This location is within a few hundred yards of the crossing where Pike and his men camped, is already the home of several interpretive markers placed by the chapter in addition to two grave markers dedicated to soldiers who died and were buried near the crossing during the Mexican War.

     Preliminary plans call for appropriate signage, an information center, a shelter house/picnic area, and landscaping. Hopefully, the project will be completed by October 29, 2006 when a dedication for the Plaza is scheduled. Members of the Pike Family Association will be in attendance, and one of the country’s leading authorities on Pike, John Murphy of Colorado Springs, will deliver the keynote address. Details of the project will be published as they develop.

     The Pike Family Association, organized in 1903, was incorporated in the same year in the state of Maine. In 2001 members of Pike family committed to reincorporation of the Pike Family Association under new bylaws in the State of California. Resultantly, members of the Association are planning a family reunion for July, 2006 in Colorado.

     Roy E. Pike is president of the Association. He along with other Pike family members will be in attendance at the October 29, 2006 dedication of the Zebulon Pike Plaza in Larned, Kansas.

     The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter will be honored and pleased to have Roy and other Pikes at the celebration. The date and location of the event will be published in a timely fashion.

Update on Plans for Zebulon Pike Plaza
     Several items require the attention of those interested in the Zebulon Pike Plaza.

  1. The City Council of Larned, Kansas approved on November 7 the prospectus for the Plaza. Additionally, the council approved the removal of road building materials and concrete foundation and floorsfrom a long defunct building.
  2. The wooden posts have already been removed from the west side of the Plaza site. They will be replaced with limestone posts.
  3. A Plaza Committee has been appointed to work with President Clapsaddle.
    Members include: Dale Otte, Dick King, Tom Giessel, Mildon Yeager, Leo Oliva, and Larry Mix.
    The locals have agreed to pour the concrete for the construction of sidewalks and Leo Oliva will prepare the script for the signage. Larry Mix will be in charge of the website & photos dedicated to the Plaza.
  4. Large limestones have been purchased from a supplier at Bazine, Kansas to be used in construction of the benches at the plaza.
  5. Mildon Yeager has donated a large piece of limestone for an entrance sign at the plaza. Tom Giessel has volunteered to inscribe the stone. He has indicated he will expect help from the president.
  6. The date of the 2006 dedication of the Plaza has been changed to October 29. That date was the day Pike crossed the Pawnee.
  7. As previously announced, dedication plans call for the attendance of Pike family members and an address by the nation's leading Pike authority, John Murphy, Colorado Springs, CO. We are also please to announce that Jon and Betsey Goering of Newton, Kansas will present a program of period music.

Update on the Zebulon Pike Plaza - 1/15/06
     In recent days, the development of the Zebulon Pike Plaza has made significant strides.

  1. All the concrete work, thanks to Mildon Yeager of Larned, Kansas, has been completed.
  2. The shelter house donated by the city of Larned has been installed.
  3. The Fort Larned National Historic Site has volunteered to reroof and paint the shelter house.
  4. Keith Mull of Larned has donated funds to purchase the telescoping flag pole.
  5. Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Cherry of Larned have donated funds to purchase the flag. The 1806 flag to be flown at the Zebulon Pike Plaza is of the 1795 issue. It has 15 Stars and 15 Stripes. [Click on photo page seven for a preview.]
  6. Stone posts have been donated by Dale Wagner, Albert; Rick Schwindt, LaCrosse; and the Reinhardt Family of Bison, Kansas.
  7. Larry and Carolyn Mix of St. John, Kansas have donated funds to purchase the benches at the Plaza in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Mix, Larry's father & mother.

         The Plaza is being established by the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Plans call for it to be dedicated on October 29, 2006 the final day of the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous. On that day, a brunch will be served along with period music. Following, John Murphy the country’s foremost Pike authority will speak and a formal dedication of the Plaza will be conducted. Participation in the dedication will be Roy Pike, President of the Pike Family Association.




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