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Historical Information

ART HISTORY & CULTURE COME ALIVE IN THE FLINT HILLS

With its foundation laid in Kansas Territory, the Rawlinson/ Terwilliger Home was built alongside the famed Santa Fe Trail as Kansas became the 34th state. To commemorate this event. you will see the Kansas Flag and the US 34 Star Civil War Flag flying in front of the Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home.

Flags

Built by Abraham and Mary Rawlinson in 1860-61, this stone home was the last house freighters passed going west when leaving Council Grove as late as 1863.

From their home on the edge of the frontier, the Rawlinsons witnessed long trains of freight wagons loaded with goods, heading to or from Santa Fe. This home was a welcome sight to the freighters, as it signaled their return to civilization.

The property was purchased by William Riley Terwilliger in 1870, who added the south wing by 1873. The Terwilliger family came to Morris County in 1859.  William Riley Terwilliger was at times a farmer, stock man, freighter, and owner of a livery stable.

The Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home is the oldest stone home and the second oldest home remaining alongside the Santa Fe Trail in Kansas.

1880 Terwilliger Home

This 1880 photo of the Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home shows William Riley and Mary Terwilliger standing in the yard along with 4 of their 15 children.

The next photo shows the Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home in 1927 when it was converted into a gas station that year. 

1927 gas station

The Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home was a gas station for 50 years. It took on the name of Maple Camp due to the large shady Maple trees on the grounds and the travelers who pitched their tents under the trees at night.

Soon four little cabins were built on the grounds to house travelers.  At that time Maple Camp was referred to as a "Motor Camp".  These cabins had the basics:  four walls and cot-type iron beds for sleeping.  They were better than a tent on a rainy night.  

Then during WWII (1943), four more cabins were built to house Herington Army Air Field personnel.  These cabins had two small living units in one building, divided by an inside wall.  Each unit had a small bathroom and a kitchen area consisting of an open board shelf, a simple high- back pocelain kitchen sink with a counter, a two-burner gas hotplate and a small Oak "Ice Box".  Married officers were the primary occupants of the Maple Camp cabins during the war years.  Simple and small as they were, the Maple Camp cabins were luxurious compared to the barracks, where enlisted soldiers endured snoring, sleep talking, and no privacy, as well as mess-hall chow.  Flight crews were trained at the Herington Army Air Field, which staged 60% of the B-29 Bombers which flew during WWII.

After the war, many returning soldiers started "home life" with their new brides in these little cabins which were then being used as rental housing.

Meanwhile, the gas station in the Rawlinson/Terwilliger home was about to undergo some changes as the next photo reveals.1977 Terwilliger Home.jpg

1977 gas station

In this 1977 photo you will notice an addition to the East that was added in 1946. 

In 1947 Baker's Food Market, a concrete-block, brick-front building was constructed just West of the Gas Station.  The Baker family had grocery stores in the area from 1856 to 1981.

 By 1952 a large garage door was added to the right front of the Gas Station. This became the entry to a body shop.  Cars were being repaired and painted in the same area that the Rawlinsons had gathered around the  fireplace in their Parlor for warmth nearly a century earlier.  The body shop was relocated in 1956 to the  Baker's Market building, which had recently been vacated. 

After 1977, the Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home was no longer a gas station.  However, it continued to suffer many changes. The next set of photos shows how it looked by 1993.

Terwilliiger Home 1993.jpg

1993 Terwilliger Home

The Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home was up for sale and by 1994 was in danger of being bulldozed down. 

 From childhood Shirley McClintock, had loved the intrigue and mystery involved in learning about historic events and people. She took pity on this sorry looking structure and began to seek out anyone she could think of, that might have the interest and/or finances to save this old building from destruction.  No one was to be found that wanted to take on the task of saving it.  Her husband told her "If you try to save it, do not expect me to help you", so she struggled with what to do.  She certainly knew they did not have the financial resources to rescue this old building.. While she pondered, she took a walk around the old stone structure and noticed some 1940s dates cut roughly in the stone. This small token from the past caused her to be curious about all the stories this place had hidden, waiting to be discovered.  She prayed to the God above.  During that prayer she became convinced in her heart that she could not live with herself if she did not try to save this place.  This next set of pictures shows how things looked in the late Fall of 1994 when Shirley took her walk around the building

 

Notice the block addition to the East had been removed by this time.  Also a tree to the back had fallen on the back roof and also lay sprawled on the South East corner.  The yard had lots of trash and debris.   Forlorn, neglected and abandoned, this old stone home was a far cry from its days of glory, when it stood proud and grand as travelers passed by.

Trusting God for the required strength and direction and believing that, with God, all things are possible, Shirley managed to talk her husband into doing the legal work to form a nonprofit organization called Historic Preservation Corporation.  She then rounded up a few board members and donations for a down payment and a few financial commitments each month. The owners graciously arranged to carry the loan, and thus began a long and difficult journey to save the Rawlinson/Terwilliger Home and all of Maple Camp that had survived to that point in time.

 Maple Camp has many stories to tell--so, we hope you will come to share in these stories and while you are here, we hope you will share your stories with us.  We swap history with people from around the world and have been amazed at the extraordinary stories ordinary people have to tell. 

Here is-- just a glimpse-- of  history presented here at Maple Camp, beginning with an 1858 log house and ending with a 1977 gas station.

Over_view_of_maple_camp
Grounds_area
Barn-_housing_atkinson_log_home
Cabin_in_barn
1861_terwilliger_stone_house
Stone_home
1902_field_school
School
First_stucco_structure_site
1930_tourist_cabin