Indian Mission Fall Festival raises money for the Shawnee Indian Mission

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FAIRWAY, Kan. -- Volunteers of the Shawnee Indian Mission call it the "best kept secret in Johnson County."

In fact the very name for Johnson County and a slew of other Kansas landmarks can be traced back to the Shawnee Indian Mission. Names like Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Drive, and Johnson Drive, just to name a few.

Thomas Johnson built the mission in 1839 as a boarding school for Indian children. It was an effort to acclimate them into a new culture.

The buildings were once located on a 2,000 acre farm. Today, three main buildings stand, on about 12 acres.

The Indian Mission Fall Festival is one of the ways volunteers are raising money to restore the buildings.

The festival draws dozens looking to educate people about that part of America’s history.

"This was the first mobile home. They would travel and move things around because they were nomadic and they would follow the buffalo herd cause that was their grocery store. The trapper would go off for a couple months and trap and then come back to his base camp. His family,” said David Cane.

Money raised will go to restoring the first building on the property. It was an infirmary, dormitory, and dining hall.

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