Pawnee Rock is located in the southwest corner of Barton County, with only about 100 yards separating it and the old Santa Fe Trail. It is considered sacred ground for the Pawnee, who held
tribal councils on its flat top. Many Plains tribes reportedly used it as an observation point to hunt for buffalo herds. For travelers passing through the area, the landmark was the half way point on their journey on the Santa Fe Trail. Many travelers even took the time to engrave their names into the stone.
In 1909, through the efforts of the Woman's Kansas Day club, the remaining portion of Pawnee Rock became a historic site. The original rock had been much larger, but settlers used part of the stone for building use. In 1970 the site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
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