Shawnee Indian Mission returns to bustling form at 25th Fall Festival

Historical reenactors recounted the series of events that led Rev. Thomas Johnson to establish the Shawnee Indian Mission in the mid-1830s.

For two days over the weekend, the usually bucolic Shawnee Indian Mission historical site in Fairway transformed into a bustling 1840s school.

Trappers sat outside their teepees. Blacksmiths stoked a fire. Musicians plucked banjos. The 25th annual Fall Festival featured a busy mix of historical reenactors, Native American dancers, and craftsman — and a call for donations.

The mission’s foundation board is opening a campaign to raise $1 million to fund repairs to the site, which was started in the mid-1830s as a place where children from relocated Native American tribes could get a technical education. For more information, call the Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation at 913-262-0867.

The Boy Scouts ran a rope course, pony rides and games at the Fall Festival.

At one point we were spotted by a trapper. But we escaped unharmed.