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Read about how this place came to be through the vision of one woman.


From childhood Shirley McClintock had loved learning about anything historic. Taking pity on this sorry-looking structure, she began to seek out anyone she could think of, who might have the interest and finances to save this old building from demolition. No one wanted to take on this monumental task. So, with a heavy heart she took a walk around the house and seeing some dates cut into the stone wall, she asked herself "What secrets lie hidden in the stone structure?" She prayed to the God above, and 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. She then determined to call upon her list of people and suggested that if they would not save this house -- would they help her save it.

Shirley convinced her lawyer husband to do the legal work to form a non-profit organization titled "Historic Preservation Corporation". She rounded up a few board members and collected enough contributions for a down payment and just enough financial commitments each month to satisfy the owners. Thus began the long and difficult journey to save the Rawlison-Terwilliger Home and all of Trail Days Historic Site that had survived to that point in time.



With its foundation laid in Kansas Territory, the Rawlison-Terwilliger home was built alongside the famed Santa Fe Trail as Kansas became the 34th state. Built by Abraham and Mary Rawlison in 1860-61, this stone home was the last house freighters passed going West when leaving Council Grove as late as 1863. The Rawlison family came from England on a ship and living with them was George Alexander, who was also from England and was 45 years old when he and the Rawlison's one son, James, 20 years of age, left in September of 1861 to join the 8th Kansas Infantry to fight in the Civil War. November 1862 George Alexander died and is buried in Danville, Kentucky. James survived the war and returned home in 1866.

From their home on the edge of the frontier, the Rawlisons witness 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 and his wife, Mary, in 1870, who added the South wing by 1873. The Terwilliger family came to Morris County in 1859, and Mr. Terwilliger was at times a farmer, stockman, freighter, and owner of a livery stable. They had 15 children and you can see three of them in this 1880 picture, along with Mary and William Riley, standing in the yard behind the fence.


This house was a home until 1927, when it was converted into a gas station. As cars pulled up to get gas, they noticed all the big shady Maple trees on the property and asked to set their tent on the property for the night. An idea came to the property owner to build a motor camp with little overnight cabins that could be rented to travelers. The cabins would be better protection than a tent in Kansas weather and would garner a little bit of income.


This site became "Maple Camp", with a gas station and cabins that cars could pull right up to the door and stay overnight. The last year of the gas station era was 1977.


The stone house had been a gas station for 50 years. During that time it had lost its identity as a home, even though people were living in the back of it. In 1980 the building sold and was transformed into an antique shop. Eventually, it was vacated and became very sad-looking.


In contrast, this stone home stood sad and forlorn in 1993. It had fallen into disrepair and was up for sale. 

By 1994 it was up for sale for a second time and was in danger of being bulldozed down. A tree had fallen against it and it was surrounded by trash and tall weeds. This was when Shirley came into the picture and gave new life to this place.

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