Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site, located on the Oregon Trail in Topeka, Kansas, is a 6-acre historic site that includes the Ward-Meade Botanical Garden, preserving the family history of one of the earliest settlers in the area. The grounds are open daily from 8 AM to Dusk. At the Potwin Drug Store, sit at the marble counter and order a soda fountain treat, and shop for vintage-era candy! The Mulvane General Store allows visitors to step back in time to a mercantile setting with a décor of "yesterday," featuring gift items that reflect either the Victorian period or a Kansas theme. The Potwin Drug Store and The Mulvane General Store are both open Monday-Saturday 10 AM-4 PM and Sunday noon-4 PM.
Every season brings a different beauty to the 2.5 acre Ward-Meade Botanical Garden. A special feature of the garden is Anna's Place, a Victorian Reading Garden.
This quiet and peaceful place includes a water garden with a footbridge, a gazebo and benches. Those who choose a self guided tour of the gardens will find more than 500 varieties of flowers, shrubs, and trees, all labeled with their botanical names. The outdoor locations are so visually rich the entire park is a popular spot for area professional photographers looking for just the right natural setting for portraits. The site also is a meeting place for area garden clubs and for those who enjoy lunch around the picnic tables.
This historic 1880 Everest Church building was moved to Old Prairie Town from Everest, Kansas. The last worship service in this building took place on June 24, 2001. The Santa Fe Train Depot was moved from its original location in Pauline south of Topeka, offers visitors a look at railroad memorabilia and state-of-the-art rail accommodations circa 1900. A one-room schoolhouse moved from nearby Rossville, is fully operational and a favorite stop for touring elementary schoolchildren. It is a great location for birthday parties and schoolhouse sessions.