The Home on the Range Cabin – Birthplace of the State Song of Kansas
Dr. Brewster M Higley wrote a poem titled “My Western Home” to describe the beauty of the site he had chosen for his Kansas Homestead in 1871. He penned this now-famous work on the bank of the West Beaver Creek in Smith County, Kansas, where along with the help of a few friends, he also constructed a cabin on July 4, 1872.
Dr. Higley presented the poem to his friend Dan Kelly who set it to music and then gave it to John Harlan, the leader of a family band that included Kelly. The song “Home on the Range” was born.
The Home on the Range Cabin is listed on the National Historical Register. The Home on the Range site is 240 acres in Pleasant Township, Smith County, Kansas and consists of range and cultivated land formerly owned by Pete and Ellen Rust. This special acreage includes 13 acres devoted exclusively for use by the Higley/Home on the Range Cabin and associated events.
The entire site is privately owned and managed by the Peoples Heartland Foundation, a 501c3 charity, who received it as a gift from the Trustees of the Ellen Rust Living Trust.
Thanks to the donations of individuals, companies and other charities, the Cabin was completely restored to its original form in 2013. The Cabin is open for visitors daily from daylight to dark.
The support of everyone is appreciated and continued support is encouraged to keep this historic icon on the plains for future generations to enjoy.