Shawnee Town 1929 used to be Old Shawnee Town. With so many other places in the area that focus on the older time periods, they decided to switch to the 1929. I am so glad they have! I have loved seeing how this has changed and developed over the years and getting to learn and see this time period hands on. Shawnee Town is located near downtown Shawnee, Kansas off Johnson Drive.
You enter Shawnee town on the north side off 57th Street and thru the building to pay for your ticket. You may also use the restroom, shop a few old timey and local items. They are open March thru October, also offer special classes and events including a homeschool day. There is also a small exhibit inside this building with infographic and pictures. Then you go outside, majority of Shawnee Town is outside so always dress for the weather. On a normal day, you can see the animals outside of the building with a guided tour every hour. On homeschool days, summer time traveler days, or theme days you will get to see and interact even more.
Truck Farm – Farmstead
Truck farming was popular after World War I to 1929, with over 100 farms averaging 80 acres per family. The farmstead area shows the house. It has six bedroom styled with a stove, pantry, sink, and icebox in the kitchen. There is also sewing room and phonograph in the bed and living rooms. There is also a chicken coop with chickens, a barn for other animals, a smokehouse, outhouse, garage and market house.
The barn has some old tools for gardening and for animals. Additionally, the garage has tools for processing the items from the garden so they can sell the fruits and veggies. They also have an old farm truck that would have been used to take the produce to the market.
After visiting the farmstead, they have several other areas on the property. There is the mortuary which I was finally able to go inside. It is quite interesting from the desk to the casket and the tools they have on display for embalming.
Another fun place to visit is the barber shop. They have the old time chairs, magazines, and a sink. While you are inside, don’t forget to get your shoes shined and check out the neat furnace they used in the cold winters.
When visiting Shawnee Town, there are some newer establishments that you don’t normally see. One is the Chevrolet dealership and the service center. It is fun to see the service center with a new car, how the parts were packaged, tools, and the pit. At the service center, you can get gas and see the parts that they sold. There is also a desk and old tires that always interested me on how different they look compared to now.
One of the best places to see anytime is the grocery store. You’ll see products that they still carry in store nowadays and how they have changed. You’ll see the old fashioned candy and then don’t forget the icebox in the back for getting meat. Don’t forget to check out the old register and phone for how they placed orders. What’s fun is during events they have give you a grocery list and you shop, check out and learn hands on more about the process. They even have a little kid shopping list with picture if your kid can’t read yet.
Next door is the ice house. It is a small building that shows how they used to store ice. Across the grass field is where the school house is at. It has a dictionary that even with contacts I had to borrow reading glasses because the font size was so teeny tiny small. They have a school bucket, chalkboard, and desks for the teachers and students so that you can pretend you’re writing your lessons.
Another fun place to look inside is the typewriter place. Many don’t know what they look like and how they used to fix them to keep them working longer. There is also a town hall where they held meetings and special events.
Future Plans and Final Thoughts
They have some special plans to add back the Shawnee State Bank, Drug Store, and a new visitor center over the next few years. I can’t wait to see what they have in the bank since my grandmother used to work there. I can’t wait to see how they grow, but I feel like a tailor or some kind of store they sold dresses at would make sense too.
We went several times this past summer. During the car day, we got to take a ride in a special 1920s car then we also got to see a car tent that attached to cars for when people went on vacation. If you want to give your kids or yourself an experience to remember and learn about our past this is the place to go. This place isn’t just for people who are local in Shawnee, but even those traveling who want to experience what the ’20s were like. So, stop by Shawnee Town 1929 and get to see these things firsthand.
Make sure to check out some of the other things to see in the area!