Home on the Range Cabin

7032 90 Road
Athol, Kansas 66932
(785) 695-2347

at private home, but open daylight hours    free

Home on the Range Cabin Map

Home on the Range Higley Cabin - Athol, Kansas
Home on the Range Cabin
Home on the Range Cabin - Athol, Kansas

In 1871 or 1872, Dr. Brewster M. Higley wrote a poem about the tiny cabin where he lived in north central Kansas, close to the Nebraska State Line. He called the poem My Western Home and tucked it away as nothing special. But a neighbor found the poem and convinced Higley to share it with others. The poem was first published in a December 1873 issue of the Smith County Pioneer with the title Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Roam. The fiddler Dan Kelley helped set the poem to music and the song soon began a life of its own.

As Americans fell in love with the simple song, they added versus of their own, as well as the chorus. There was no "Home on the Range" in Higley's original poem. The song become an icon of the American West and in 1947 Home on the Range was named the official state song of Kansas.

The tiny cabin on bank of West Beaver Creek where Higley penned that poem is still standing today. It is in the yard of a private home. THe property has been preserved for visiting by the public, thanks to the Ellen Rust Living Trust which was started by one time residents of the adjacent home. The cabin is kept unlocked and has a small exhibit inside, behind chicken wire. There is also a guest register and they sell a one sheet with the history of the cabin and the song for a quarter (honor system). 

The Higley Cabin needed restoration and in April of 2011 and campaign began to raise nearly $100,000 for that work. In the first month, over $25,000 was raised, the bulk of that money coming from a concert by cowboy singer Michael Martin Murphey who did a benefit concert at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper Club in Benton, Kansas. The photos on this page show the results of the restoration and preservation.

To reach the Home on the Range Cabin drive north of US Highway 36 on K-8 8 miles, and turn west on the private drive where you see the stone sign.

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,

Where the deer and the antelope play;

Where never is heard a discouraging word

And the sky is not clouded all day.

Home on the Range sign
Sign directing you off Kansas Highway to the Home on the Range Cabin

Brewster M. Higley cabin
Back of Higley's Western Home

A 1954 plaque with the words to "My Western Home."

Home on the Range Cabin guest register
Guest register

Home on the Range cabin interior in 2014
Home on the Range cabin interior

Home on the Range Cabin
Home on the Range Cabin in 2011 before recent restoration and preservation

Home on the Range cabin interior
Interior of Higley's cabin in 2011

Home on the Range Cabin Map - Kansas
Home on the Range Cabin Map

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copyright 2008-2011 by Keith Stokes