• The setting sun over the Flint Hills casts shadows across the wide expanse of tallgrass prairie.

    Tallgrass Prairie

    National Preserve Kansas

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  • Reminder, Bison Are Wild Animals

    Windmill Pasture is home to the bison herd. They have been quite active in recent weeks. Please stay on the trails and use caution in their vicinity. Do not come in close contact with the bison. Allow at least 100 yards between you and the herd. More »

Virtual Tour Carriage House

carriage house exterior

The carriage house was used to house a buggy, wagon, or some other vehicle. This building was constructed after the Jones' occupancy during the 1920s when it was the Benninghoven Ranch. With the family's transition from horses to the use of tractors, it is feasible that the building was used to store a tractor or automobile. Records indicate that Curt Benninghoven owned a Farmall tractor and received his alloted war-time gas rations for farming. In the late 1990s two underground gas storage tanks were removed just outside this building, indicating that it was a common location used to gas vehicles.

 
buggy in barn

This buggy was found in the barn when the National Park Trust purchased the property in 1994. Oral histories state that the hired hands intentionally dismantled the buggy to prevent its sale when the Z Bar Ranch sold in 1986, because they felt is should always stay with the ranch. On a few occasions it was driven in the local parade. After the ranch auction, the buggy was reassembled and is now on display in the barn.

 

Did You Know?

Southwind Nature Trail at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

A single blade of big bluestem might have a root system descending over 8 feet underground. This is deep enough so that the plant will emerge in the spring even without rainfall. Big bluestem grows abundantly on the Southwind Nature Trail.