The area now comprising Shawnee, Kansas is rich with history and examples of characteristic American Midwestern life. Its heritage reaches back into the prehistoric era of the Osage native people and before. Its immediate origin springs from its location as the political and religious center of the Shawnee Indians.
Old Shawnee Town is an outdoor museum recreating a Kansas prairie town dating from the 1840s to the early 1920s. The site features seven original and twelve replica buildings, two gardens, and three structures providing support services for operation of the site. Each building is furnished with artifacts dating roughly from that period. Owned and operated by the City of Shawnee, Kansas, as a division of the Parks & Recreation Department. The Town is the cornerstone of Herman E. Laird Park, two blocks from the original Town Square and downtown Shawnee.