Council Grove was a lot of fun. Mom shopped at the flea market while the boys and I saw a covered wagon, crossed the Neosho River, and went further down Main Street to explore the Guardian of the Grove, the Madonna of the Trail, and the Post Office Oak.
Then, we went back and rejoined Mom to explore more of the town and try (read: fail) to obtain more tourist information. Then, the boys and I went down the Neosho Riverwalk while Mom looked around at the Apothecary.
One of the saddest parts of this town, to me, were the constant reminders of the United States' willingness to take advantage of the Indians who were in the way of "progress." For example, the U.S. government paid the Osage Indians $800 to allow traders to bring wagonloads of trade goods on the Santa Fe trail. Even in 19th-century currency, this was a pittance compared to the profits the traders gained from the arrangement. Then, despite prior treaties, squatters filled the land, eventually forcing all the Indians in the area to vacate on the Trail of Tears down to Oklahoma. Lesson: never negotiate with the Government if you're an Indian.
We had lunch at the Trail Days Cafe, which was good but took a LONG time. It's a little Mom & Pop place, except Mom is currently recovering from cancer, so Pop took a while to get things ready. Several good things about this place:
- Reasonable prices
- Friendly, knowledgeable, hospitable host
- Kids' play area
- It's a museum!
- Tons to look at, read, and explore while you wait
- Enormous cookies