Every once in a while.. I dedicate my blog page to brag about another fantastic place to visit in Kansas. This weekend, I'm showing off the Hays House in Council Grove.. (Lori Hutchinson's hometown!) The Hays House history begins with Seth Hays, Daniel Boone's great-grandson, coming to Council Grove with a license from his cousin, A.G. Boone, to trade with the Kaw (also known as the Kanza Indians.) When he visited in 1847, the town was already busy as a wagon train rendezvous on the bustling Santa Fe Trail. Hays soon built a log cabin and started his business of serving food and trading goods. The building in this picture was originally built in 1857 and sits straight on the Santa Fe Trail, alongside Main Street.
From the mid-to-late 1800s, the restaurant and trading post was also the site of many local activities. The U.S. Government rented space in the Hays House to hold court, and mail was also distributed from here. History tells us that on Saturday nights, the bottles were covered, so church services could be held in the same place on Sundays! In the early years, when the roof was peaked, theatricals were held on the second floor of the Hays House. In 1886, a fire destroyed several buildings on the north side of Main Street and it was probably this fire, which burned the roof. The story has been passed down over the decades that many Council Grove folks rushed to save the Hays Tavern first . Soon after the sides were raised, the roof was made flat and the second floor was let out for "rooms to rent." But no one's boarded at the Hays House in almost 70 years.
Council Grove is very proud of its rich heritage and its pioneer spirit. They'd love for you to come visit, and be sure to see the Hays House while you're there. Stop by for lunch (it's great..) and take time to explore Council Grove's many other attractions! RH
See pictures of the Hays House at www.hayshouse.com