Must-See in Shawnee, OK
Updated: Aug 25
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.
It’s housed in an old train depot that looks like a castle. That in itself makes it a must-visit. Go inside because it’s packed to the eaves with Pott County and railroad memorabilia. You could spend hours running the trains. On the grounds is the Beard Cabin. Built in 1892 its considered to be the first home built in Shawnee.
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 paint and erect fiberglass horses around Shawnee. There are nearly three dozen of the stallions to see. 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 Shawnee 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.
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. A 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
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!