This entry of my History Tour series is more of an addendum to another entry as this was the place that the huge dinosaur exhibit, SUE: The T. rex Experience was held. SUE was, undoubtedly, the flagship event of Topeka Dino Days in Topeka, Kansas in 2022, and event I wished they had done again this year. The Great Overland Station is a large train station, much like Union Station in Kansas City, that apparently hosts big events if they come through town. The building has a series pretty interesting exhibits inside that make a trip worth it even if no marquee events are going on. These exhibits mostly talk about the history of Topeka and the history of railroads in the great plains. If you have any kids that enjoy trains, this might be an idea if you are in the area.
Great Overland Station; Topeka, Kansas
Since I was specifically here for the SUE exhibit, I did not do my normal thing where I purchased a book or anything, so this will be a bit more sparse than my typical entries, maybe I will get a book about train history of this area since I have been to at least four historic train stations in the last few years, so stand by if that’s something anyone wants to see. There was a gift shop at the Great Overland Station, but it is largely full of books and items for children, and at the time was stocked full of dinosaur memorabilia.
According to their website:
“Built in 1927, the building now serves as a museum celebrating Topeka’s rich history as well as a special event and meeting venue. Visitors to the museum can learn about area railroads including the Santa Fe/BNSF, Union Pacific, Rock Island, Missouri Pacific and Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. They can learn about the history of the site from the Oregon Trail, Pappan’s Ferry crossing, and the birthplace of U.S. Vice President Charles Curtis. The BNSF Plaza includes the Corridor of Flags and All Veterans Memorial honoring our nation’s veterans and active military. Great Overland Station brings Topeka’s railroad heritage to life through photographs, special exhibits, and costumed docents. There are many activities for children to do and things to see. There are two simulator’s that are hands on. One is an older style, and another is more recent which allows children to use the controls and pretend they are driving the engine. In “Exploration Station” there is a train table where children can rearrange the train cars; a coloring table with trains for tracing, and pictures for coloring and a play table with books and activities for the children to use. The “Big Red Caboose” is a great experience too. It is “child size” so they can experience the hand brakes, the tables and chairs, and more.”
See my entry for Topeka Dino days 2022
For more content like this, check out my History Tour page HERE