Trail Days Cafe & Museum

Trail Days Cafe & Museum Experience a taste of history in the food, stories, setting and artifacts.
Historic Preservation Corp. desires to educate the public about History and the Arts and to preserve what we can in these two areas that are so important to forming our future.
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Here the food is part of your museum experience. We Start with American Indian, which features Buffalo and Elk, next on our menu comes Old World, which includes French, Italian, English, Scotch-Irish, German and Swedish selections. Then we include some Early American such as Ham & Beans, Salmon Patties, and Brisket. 20th Century foods are next where we include the American Farm meals and Town Square Sandwiches (Towns in the Midwest were built around the Court House Square). The final section offers some Vegetarian choices. A colony of Vegetarians came to Kansas in 1856 to settle. You will be eating in a Victorian decor Parlor, with a fireplace. We feature a small library for your reading enjoyment and you are free to tour the home while your food is being prepared. We have seven buildings on this historic complex. If you love good old fashioned, made-from-scratch cooking and History that comes to life, you will love us.

Mission: Our mission is to make learning History interesting and tasty to travelers on the Santa Fe Trail (now Main Street and Highway 56) going right by our front door.

Payment Options:   Cash Discover Mastercard Visa

Price Range: $

Culinary Team: We are volunteers who love history and dress in period clothing.

Colorado Backcountry Adventures
05/15/2019

Colorado Backcountry Adventures

I have to admit...the more time I spend in this area, the more it makes me feel as if I should eventually settle down in the Flint Hills of Eastern Kansas. This place is extremely rich in Native American and Pioneer history. Seeing as how I LOVE ANYTHING history related, you can imagine my stoke level with discovering relics from a bygone era literally at every turn. Long ago the Comanche ruled this land followed by the Kaw and then the Pioneers. Add to it the incredible biodiversity of the Great Plains and you’ve got a truly unique area unlike anywhere else on Planet Earth.
Just north of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is the historic town of Council Grove, the last stop on the Santa Fe Trail before venturing into the vast wilderness of the Great Plains. Council Grove is a small town of roughly 2,000 people but boasts 25 national and state registered historic sites.
If you’re ever traveling through Kansas, you owe it to yourself to get off Interstate 70 and explore the Flint Hills Scenic Byway. Located within the Flint Hills is the Konza Prairie, the last place on Earth to view the original grassland prairie which covered an area stretching from Texas all the way up to the northern plains of Canada, an ecosystem at its peak estimated to be 501,900 square miles. Only 4% remains and it can be found in the Kansas Flint Hills.
Years ago Travel Mag listed the Konza Prairie as one of the top 7 places in the world to view a sunset. Just google “Konza Prairie Sunset” and be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor. If you want to see the Tallgrass at it’s peak then venture into this area in the fall when natural prairie grass is anywhere from 4 to 8 feet tall...view the grasslands from above on a bluff with a bit of wind and the Tallgrass swaying in the breeze looks like waves on the ocean.

If you ever thought Kansas was a flyover State, the Flint Hills will immediately change your mind.

#explore #kansas #flinthills #scenicbyway #tallgrassprairiepreserve #nationalparks #pioneer #history #cottonwoodfalls #strongcity #councilgrove

05/13/2019

BATTLE OF FRANKLIN. Recently two visitors told us about their tour of a southern mansion at Franklin, Tenn., used as a field hospital by the Confederates during the Battle of Franklin Nov. 30,1864. That Battle is of interest to us because James Rawlinson, resident of the Rawlinson-Terwilliger Home, and other Council Grove men, in the 8th Kansas Volunteer Regiment, were there.
The 8th Kansas Infantry was the rearguard of the XXIII Corps commanded by Gen. John M. Schofield, travelling northerly to join the forces being assembled at Nashville by Gen. George Henry Thomas ("The Rock of Chickamauga"). As they neared Franklin (18 miles south of Nashville), they were being pursued by Confederate Gen. John B. Hood's Army of the Tennessee. The 8th Kansas Infantry fired the first shots of what became the Battle of Franklin, forcing Hood's Army to retreat.
In the meantime, Gen. Schofield established very strong defensive positions at Franklin. The 8th Kansas Infantry was then held in reserve north of Franklin, but in the course of events their services were not needed, and their skirmish with Hood's Army turned out to be their last active combat during the Civil War.
The Battle of Franklin was devastating to the Army of the Tennessee. Five Generals were killed, six Generals were wounded (one mortally), and one General was captured. Thirty Colonels and Lt. Colonels were killed or wounded. About 1750 Confederates were killed, about 7000 were wounded, and about 700 were taken prisoner.
Schofield then retreated to Nashville to join Gen. Thomas. Thomas attacked Hood's approaching Army in the Battle of Nashville Dec. 15 and 16, 1864, capturing all of their artillery and about 4,500 prisoners. The numbers of Confederates killed or wounded were never reported, and the Army of the Tennessee ceased to exist as a fighting unit.
The sign out front of the Trail Days Cafe & Museum reads: "History Comes Alive Here!" And so it does. Kenneth W. McClintock

05/03/2019

WIBW-TV (Channel 13) in Topeka periodically broadcasts during its local news program a short segment called "Fork in the Road"--which features some restaurant in the area. In recent months, they have featured the Saddlerock Cafe and the Hays House in Council Grove. On Tuesday, April 30th, it was the Trail Days Cafe & Museum's turn! Thanks, WIBW!! Kenneth W. McClintock

04/16/2019

Bob King has continued to bring to us a variety of antique kerosene lamps and lanterns to add to our displays. His latest contribution is a Stonebridge Folding Lantern, patented in 1906 and 1908. It is lighted by a candle. The configuration roughly resembles a half-gallon milk carton. The sides are hinged so that it can be folded up to about one-fourth its operational size. Three of its four sides have panels of isinglass, for the candlelight to project out.
These lanterns became very popular for camping. In World War I, these lanterns were used by the U.S. Army, the Canadian armed forces, and by several European countries. The lantern is presently on display in the main dining room of the Trail Days Cafe & Museum. Kenneth W. McClintock

Council Grove/Morris County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
04/10/2019

Council Grove/Morris County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

The 2019 Leadership Morris County class enjoyed a delicious lunch and history lesson today at Trails Days Cafe and Museum.#councilgroveks, #cgks, #cgleadership, #traildayshistoricsite

The Cottage House
02/20/2019

The Cottage House

If you have had the honor of meeting Ken & Shirley at the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, you know you won big! We want to take a moment and thank Ken & Shirley for working with us. We had a guest stay at the Cottage House specifically because he was having dinner and watch a performance at the Trail Days Cafe. He also visited several local historical sites and said he will be back soon.
#togethereveryonewins #cottagehouse #SFT #visitcouncilgroveks #morriscounty #history

02/07/2019

Betty Lamps. Recently Bob King donated three "Betty lamps", which get their name from the German word "besser", which means "to make better". They were used by American colonialists circa 1700-1850, until kerosene lamps were invented. They had a bowl which held fish oil, whale oil, or scraps of fat, with a cloth wick which projected from the bowl. The tip of the wick was lit to provide light.
One lamp is of rather crude design, and must be one of the very earliest versions. One is of a rather complex design, and must be one of the very last versions. The third lamp must be dated somewhere between the other two. So--if you want to see lighting devices which preceded kerosene lamps (other than candles), visit the Trail Days Cafe & Museum.
As the sign out front says, "History Comes Alive Here". Kenneth W. McClintock

The Cottage House
01/22/2019

The Cottage House

💓Do you have your Valentine's Day planned in Council Grove this year? Be our guest at the Cottage House February 14th, 15th and or 16th 2019 AND dine at Trail Days Cafe & Museum as our guests receive a FREE brownie desert alongside 10% savings. Courtesy of Trail Days Cafe & Museum. 620-767-6828
#thecottagehouse #traildayscafeandmuseum #browniedesert #valentinesday2019

The Cottage House
01/22/2019

The Cottage House

Book a room with us & make Trail Days Cafe & Museum your date night with your honey February 14th in Council Grove! Plus our guests who stay at the Cottage House AND go to Trail Days Cafe & Museum receive a brownie desert. Courtesy of Trail Days Cafe & Museum.
www.cottagehousecgks.com or 620-767-6828
#cottagehouse #visitcouncilgrove #sweetheart #sayiloveyouincouncilgrove #ilovebrownies

01/21/2019

1926 FARMERS & DROVERS BANK ROBBERY. The 2018 book, "Kansas Oddities", by Roger L. Ringer, is a compilation of over 60 short stories about interesting people, places, and events. Included is a story about the Farmers & Drovers Bank robbery in 1926 by the Fleagle Gang, of Garden City. Some parts of the story are at variance with my research, but the story is well-told.
The concluding paragraph relates an incident when relatives of the Fleagles visited "the museum in Council Grove" [Trail Days Cafe & Museum]. They noted that their family was in the scrapbook kept there [our "History Happens Here" notebook], in an article about the robbery. When asked about their relationship to Jake Fleagle, they replied, "We don't really know for sure, 'cause Grampa never wanted to talk about it."
The author (or his source) obviously had been to the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, because the information in the concluding paragraph is not written down anywhere (except, now, in the book). It has been passed down orally by me to hundreds of visitors over the years, as I tell them about the Fleagle Gang in general, and the Farmers & Drovers Bank robbery in particular.
At the back of the book is a bibliography listing the sources of the many stories. The list for the Farmers & Drovers Bank robbery includes, "Ken McClintock, Council Grove". The sign out front says "History Happens Here"--and so it does. Kenneth W. McClintock

12/15/2018
Southwest Discovered

The Cottage House shared this video of our old spice grinder in action!

At the #TrailDaysCafe everything is made from scratch and the menu is inspired by what the pioneers on the SFT would have eaten in the mid-1800s. Owner and chef Shirley is demonstrating how she grinds her seasonings with a mill dating back to the 1700s, perhaps earlier. Her secret herb mix is sprinkled over homemade mashed potatoes, baked in tender roast beef ... the food is divine!
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#theplacetoeat #cafe #museum #santafetrail #sfta #authentic #awardwinning #greatpeople #kansas #coucilgrove #restaurants #favoriteplaces #historians #thetealdeal #kansastourism #kansasmagazine #midwestmoment

The Cottage House shared a picture and clever post. See if you know which stain glass is ours!
12/15/2018

The Cottage House shared a picture and clever post. See if you know which stain glass is ours!

Stained glass windows are only one of the several features the Cottage House and Trail Days Cafe & Museum have in common along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. Let's have some fun! Comment which you think is from the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, top or bottom? Plus, our guests get a special discount when visiting them just by showing our room key. Ask us at check in.
#thecottagehouse #traildayscafeandmuseum
#councilgrovekansas #stainedglasswindows

12/15/2018
Southwest Discovered

Southwest Discovered

At the #TrailDaysCafe everything is made from scratch and the menu is inspired by what the pioneers on the SFT would have eaten in the mid-1800s. Owner and chef Shirley is demonstrating how she grinds her seasonings with a mill dating back to the 1700s, perhaps earlier. Her secret herb mix is sprinkled over homemade mashed potatoes, baked in tender roast beef ... the food is divine!
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#theplacetoeat #cafe #museum #santafetrail #sfta #authentic #awardwinning #greatpeople #kansas #coucilgrove #restaurants #favoriteplaces #historians #thetealdeal #kansastourism #kansasmagazine #midwestmoment

The Cottage House
12/15/2018

The Cottage House

Stained glass windows are only one of the several features the Cottage House and Trail Days Cafe & Museum have in common along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. Let's have some fun! Comment which you think is from the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, top or bottom? Plus, our guests get a special discount when visiting them just by showing our room key. Ask us at check in.
#thecottagehouse #traildayscafeandmuseum
#councilgrovekansas #stainedglasswindows

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has posted a blog about its November, 2018, trail of the month:  The Flint Hills Trail S...
11/22/2018
Not Found | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has posted a blog about its November, 2018, trail of the month: The Flint Hills Trail State Park, which is now open from Osawatomie to Council Grove, and eventually will extend to Herington. The posted article is well written and illustrated. We take particular note of it because near the end of the article is a paragraph commenting on the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, with an accompanying photograph. The link: https://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2018/november/13/kansas-flint-hills-trail-state-park/.

Not Found

11/03/2018

Descendants of Ephraim K. Hanks recently visited and dined at the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, including a new, local resident and his infant daughter (who I will not identify here, since I did not ask their permission). In the course of our conversations, the Mormon Battalion was mentioned. In 1846, the Mormon Battalion was recruited to assist in the Mexican War, and marched 1850 miles from Council Bluffs, IA, through Santa Fe, NM, to San Diego, CA--the longest sustained military march in U.S. military history.
The Mormon Battalion arrived in Council Grove on Aug. 27, 1846, and camped here for five days before heading west. I learned that Ephraim K. Hanks was one of the men serving in the Mormon Battalion.
Ten years later, in 1856, Hanks was one of the men who came to the rescue of a handcart company of Mormon pioneers who became stranded in an early blizzard, en route to Salt Lake City. A 2013 movie, "Ephraim's Rescue", tells the story. Many Mormons emigrating from Europe were too impoverished to afford wagons and livestock to make their trek across the continent, so handcarts were built for them to transport their worldly belongings as they walked to Utah.
The sign out front says, "History Comes Alive Here!". And, so it does. Kenneth W. McClintock

10/31/2018

Hatteberg's People. About ten years ago, Wichita television newscaster Larry Hatteberg interviewed Shirley and I, and filmed the Trail Days Cafe & Museum. That interview was later broadcast on his special program, "Hatteberg's People", which was about interesting people around the State of Kansas.
In the past couple of weeks we have had a number of people from the Wichita area visit the Trail Days Cafe & Museum because they recently saw a re-broadcast of that interview on a Wichita television station!
After Hatteberg retired a few years ago, he made a DVD of what he considered to be some of the best episodes he broadcast over the years. I think he was going to make other DVDs later. We were included in that first DVD, a copy of which he sent to us.
Kenneth W. McClintock

10/25/2018

On Oct. 24, 2018, a couple from Canada visited the Trail Days Cafe & Museum. When we asked how they came to find our place, they said that they had been at a convention in Detroit. They were to be going on to Des Moines, IA, and asked someone at the convention if there was anything to see in Kansas. That someone told them about the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, in Council Grove, KS, and recommended that they go there. So, they did! Kenneth W. McClintock

10/24/2018

In 2015, young filmmakers Joshua Nathan and Patrick Ross backpacked their way across Kansas, filming sites of interest and interviews with Kansans. Among other subjects in Council Grove, they interviewed me and filmed the Trail Days Historic Site.
Their film, "Kansas: An Ecologue", primarily funded by Humanities Kansas, a nonprofit cultural organization, is scheduled for premiere showings in Lawrence (Nov. 2), Wichita (Nov. 3), Hays (Nov. 9), and Garden City (Nov. 10). Showings at 7:00 p.m., will be followed by panels discussing various aspects of the film. The panel at Hays (in Albertson Hall, Fort Hays State University), will discuss Kansas History, moderated by Leo Oliva. I will be one of the panel members.
The other events will be at the Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence, the Santa Fe Trail Room in the Wichita State University Student Center, and the Finney County Historical Society in Garden City.
Kenneth W. McClintock

10/15/2018

In August, I reported that Jeremiah Hershberger was sprucing up the Rawlinson-Terwilliger Home, repairing and painting exterior woodwork. That painting has been completed on the Home, the Trail Days Arts & History Center, the Field School House porch, and the chicken house and pen. Things are really looking good--especially with all the blooming flowers around the Home and the Arts & History Center.
Before an autumn freeze gets the flowers, we invite you to stop by and take a look at the vast improvements to the site made over the past year or two. Come inside and take a look at all the exhibits, photographs, etc., which make the place a museum. If you cannot make it to Council Grove, check out our updated web site, www.traildayscafeandmuseum.org.
You can also get a meal as part of the history here, although that is not necessary, and admission is free. Our next, immediate, priority is to raise the funds to repair and re-shingle the deteriorating roof of the 1943 World War II Cabin on the premises.
Kenneth W. McClintock

10/12/2018

Sept. 23rd was the 239th anniversary of the 1779 sea battle with the British when John Paul Jones made his famous reply, "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!", when the British commander inquired as to whether Jones, in his battered ship, was ready to strike his colors. Jones went on to capture the British ship.
A few years ago, a descendant of John Paul Jones was a visitor at the Trail Days Cafe & Museum. Later, a couple from Castle Douglas, Scotland, visited the Cafe/Museum. It turned out that she was the principal teacher at the Kirkbean Primary School, which was attended by John Paul Jones. She told me that the school logo is a drawing of the head of John Paul Jones. My theory is that there is an underlying animosity of Scottish people towards England, as evidenced by a rather recent vote on the issue of seceding from Great Britain, so perhaps they see John Paul Jones as "a local boy who done good".
The next time you visit the Trail Days Cafe & Museum, ask me to tell you some of the interesting details about Jones' encounter with the HMS Serapis, and about his thwarted attack on Edinburg, Scotland. The stories are too lengthy to relate on this Facebook entry. Kenneth W. McClintock

Address

803 W Main St
Council Grove, KS
66846

General information

We are an historic complex along the Santa Fe Trail where learning history is fun and delicious. Experience made from scratch food as in days gone by. Listen to stories from the past that will let your mind wander back to learn about what happened along the trail, with the Indians, our area, our State and our Nation.

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00 - 20:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 20:00
Thursday 11:00 - 20:00
Friday 11:00 - 20:00
Saturday 11:00 - 20:00

Telephone

(620) 767-7986

Services

  • Groups
  • Reserve
  • Takeout
  • Waiter
  • Walkins

Specialties

  • Dinner
  • Lunch

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