Must-See in Shawnee, OK
Updated: Jan 4
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
“This is a gem of a museum with an encyclopedic collection of art and artifacts spanning history from ancient Egypt to modern times. The biggest draw is the mummy, but the Medieval, Renaissance, and 19th century collections are also fantastic. Great representations of Indigenous American and African art as well.” - Donna M.
Pottawatomie County Museum Complex
The complex includes a beautiful, historic train depot that looks like a castle. That in itself makes it a must-visit. Go inside adjacent Milburn Center for exhibits on Pottawatomie County and railroad memorabilia. On the grounds is the Beard Cabin. Built in 1892, it is considered to be the first home built in Shawnee!
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center
Shawnee is home to four tribal governments, each with their own cultures, languages and traditions. The Potawatomi Nation has developed a Cultural Heritage Center which preserves and interprets artifacts relevant to indigenous Great Lakes cultures, with an emphasis on the Anishinabe Potawatomi. Gift Shop inside the museum offers unique Native American made jewelry, ceremonial items, traditional native attire, a vast array of Pendleton blankets, jackets, clothing, bags and more.
In celebration of Oklahoma's centennial year (2007,) the community took on a project to place hand-painted fiberglass horses around Shawnee. There are nearly three dozen of the stallions to see, and each is unique. And to answer your question before you ask, the horse is a significant part of local culture, such as the International Finals Youth Rodeo and other Western-style events Shaw-"neigh" hosts annually. That’s why!
The public art goes beyond the painted horses. Throughout Shawnee, there are also murals designed and painted by local artists. They wanted to capture the beauty of downtown and inform people of the unique history of Shawnee. Most are Downtown.
Grave Site of Dr. Brewster Higley
While born in Indiana and a long time Kansas resident, the otolaryngologist wrote “Home on the Range,” which is the Kansas state song. Dr. Higley’s travels brought him to Shawnee where he passed away. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery. Historic signage marks where he is buried.
“Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam. Where the deer and the antelope play.” - Dr. Brewster Higley
St. Gregory’s Abbey and Monks' Marketplace
Saint Gregory's Abbey is home to a monastic community where monks live together, work together, and pray together. The monks gather seven times a day in the church for the liturgy of the hours and Eucharist. The church is also used for liturgical functions for other occasional special events. Guests may visit the abbey by appointment or shop the Monk's Marketplace which specializes in handcrafted and locally grown products from the Abbey and volunteers.
There’s so many sights to see, events to attend, and local shops to shop. And because Shawnee sits at the crossroads of America on Interstate 40, just minutes from Interstates 44 and 35, there is plenty to experience around Shawnee as well. We hope to see you soon in Shawnee, Oklahoma!