Fairway pursuing agreement on Shawnee Indian Mission with state historical group

The Shawnee Indian Mission will have its hours reduced starting this fall.
The Shawnee Indian Mission has had its hours reduced.

Fairway Mayor Jerry Wiley said his city is exploring ways to help administer the Shawnee Indian Mission. The 12-acre historical site is in Fairway.

“We want to keep it alive and well,” Wiley said. Fairway is pursuing a three-year memorandum of agreement to be worked out with the Kansas Historical Society that would allow Fairway to help run the site and work with the Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation on funding.

Budget cuts and reduced hours were announced last summer. The site is now closed from November to April and is only open Wednesday to Saturday during May to October, according to its posted hours.

Wiley said the state budget cuts have left the Mission with reduced resources. It has a part-time site administrator. “We want to find the proper solution for it,” Wiley told the gathering at this week’s State of the Cities meeting. The Mission is on state land. “They have to retain ownership,” Wiley said.

The Kansas Historical Society has private contracts for administration of two other sites in the state, according to Wiley, so an agreement would not be unprecedented. “It’s a cause. It creates a great educational opportunity,” Wiley said.

The issue is expected to be on a city council agenda in the near future.