About Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site
Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site - Located on the Oregon Trail in Topeka, Kansas, Old Prairie Town is a 6-acre historic site with gardens, preserving the family history of one of the earliest settlers in the area.
Mary Jane Ward called herself the "mother of Topeka." In 1854, she and her husband, Anthony, a carpenter, wheelwright, and teacher, purchased 240 acres of prime river land for $100 from a Kaw Indian named Joseph James.
They combined three cabins on the property as their first home. Mary Jane offered lodging to weary trail travelers, and most nights, kept a candle burning in her cabin window to welcome them. The couple sold sand from the river to help support their family of six children. Part of the original cabin is incorporated in the reconstructed cabin located in the park.
The Ward family lived in the cabin until the 1870s, when they built the two-story limestone and brick Prairie home now called the Mansion.
124 NW Fillmore
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 10a-4p; Sun 12p-4p
Where is Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site