Burnett's Mound
Topeka, Kansas, June 2007

Highest point in Topeka and located on it's southwest side, Burnett's Mound was named after former owner, Potawatomi Chief Abram B.Burnett.

Associated with Indian legend and devistated by a tornado that swept through Topeka in June, 1966, Burnett's Mound has since seen construction of a water tower on its eastern slope, apartment complexes, businesses and high-dollar homes on all sides. The top still remains a city park, closing at dusk. A walkway leads from parking to the summit, where visitors get a spectacular bird's eye view of the wide vistas on all sides of the Mound.

When visiting, use respect. There well may be ghost spirits. You can feel them near.

Kids who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s were known to sneak out at night and visit this area, walking up the steep hill on mild summer nights, carrying along flashlights. This photographer, who had not been back, even once, for more than forty years, could still feel a special kinship with this wild place.

wide parking lot, but blocked by gates, so visitors walkpath to the north summit of the moundview past the watertower with V.A. Hospital and downtown in the distancelooking northeast past the watertower
looking back south to where the car is parkedlooking down, northward, toward Interstate I-470new cement steps parrallel the old stone steps this photographer used as a child, climbingno time to explore paths away from the main trailstone stairs lead to the summit
hillside commerical development north of the mound rough terrain around the summit a view of downtown Topeka follows the exact path of the devestating Topeka tornado, June 6, 1966
looking southeast large rocks line public spaces heavy clouds and thick air mask Lake Sherwood area to the west
storm brewing in the west

Also read:

Burnett's Mound goes green again —by Phil Anderson, Topeka Capital-Journal, 10/2/2010


Viewer comment, added 5/16/2013:
   I want you to know how much I enjoyed seeing your pictures. I was watching a television show recently that mentioned Indian mounds, and I remembered living in Kansas as a child in the early 60s. My father would take us to Burnett's Mound often. I recognized it immediately in your pictures. I also remember the June 8, 1966, tornado when people said the tornado went right over the Mound. We used to live at 4004 W 29th Street, which was a dirt road when we first moved in, and our telephone was a party line, which meant we shared the number with all our neighbors. The milkman delivered milk in the mornings in glass bottles. I went to McEachron Elementary School and Dad worked at the Menninger Clinic. I'm sure everything has changed. Do the Potowatami still do their pow-wows? Dad took us to those, too.
   Thanks for a peek into my past. Sincerely, Lucie Montes

Page manager response:
   Yes, Pow wows are still held. An inter-tribal group sponsors a Pow wow each fall at Lake Shawnee. Also, the Prairie Band has a Pow wow every late-spring at their reservation near Holton. See 2010 20th anniversary Pow wow at Lake Shawnee and June 2012 Prairie Band Pow wow.

All photos © 2007 by Carol Yoho
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