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Threshing Machine Canyon


One of the best kept secrets in the state lies near Cedar Bluff State Park and Reservoir. Threshing Machine Canyon was a station on Butterfield’s Overland Despatch (BOD) or the Smoky Hill Trail.

Interesting Facts about Threshing Machine Canyon:

  • Originally known as Bluffton Station on BOD

  • Site of 1867 Native American attack

  • Freighters were transporting a threshing machine to Brigham Young in Salt Lake City

  • Group stopped for the night below limestone bluffs in canyon

  • Group was ambushed during the night

  • All the men were killed and the threshing machine was set on fire

  • Remains of the burned machine could be seen for years

  • Remains now on display at Trego County Historical Society Museum in WaKeeney

  • Travelers carved their names and dates in the limestone bluffs

  • Carvings dating back to the mid-1800s are still visible

  • Area located in Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area, which is closed to the public during certain seasons

  • Check with Cedar Bluff State Park Office for directions and open/closed  status

Contact Us

Cedar Bluff Reservoir

32001 Hwy 147

Trego County, KS
(13 miles south of I-70, Exit 135, on Hwy 147)

Mailing Address:

32001 147 Hwy.
Ellis, KS 67673

(785) 726-3212