On Monday, May 23, a celebration was held at Children’s Medical Center Plano (aka Children’s Health). A wayside sign highlighting the historic significance of the Shawnee Trail was noted by Candace Fountoulakis, board member of The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation.
The Conservancy makes it a priority to inform and educate Plano residents and visitors about our local history, and, according to Fountoulakis, “[The Shawnee Trail] is one of our favorite topics because it played such a significant role in the development of the west side of Plano.” The sign was designed and donated by The Conservancy.
“We are happy to be able to celebrate this sign because of the significance of the Shawnee Trail and Preston Road in Plano’s history right here where we are standing, on the banks of White Rock Creek,” she told staff and guests as they stood overlooking the hike and bike trail, which now parallels the creek just west of Preston Road. “Its location along the trail, in view of the garden and the [Haggard Story Tree] featured on the sign lets you know you are standing right where history was made.” The children’s garden was recently completed by the Plano Garden Club, and the old oak Story Tree is only a year from its 100th planting date.
A companion sign representing the prehistoric era of inland sea creatures and Columbian mammoths was also installed about two miles south of the first location’s sign. Native Americans hunted bison along The Shawnee Trail, which eventually became a main cattle trail for decades in the mid-1800s.
A full-size paper replica of the sign will be on display in the hospital lobby, or take a walk and see the signs first-hand. The indoor replica was designed so that guests and patients at Children’s Medical Center Plano can appreciate the challenge to settle on the prairie, as they face their own health challenges.
“We are grateful to the Plano Conservancy for providing the Shawnee Trail Wayside sign, which connects us to our community’s wonderful history and enriches the experience of our patients and their families on our campus,” said Michael Wiggins, senior vice president and administrator of Children’s Medical Center Plano.
The southern sign (prehistoric Shawnee Trail) is at the intersection of the Legacy Trail along White Rock Creek just north of the bridge overpass on Spring Creek Parkway (east of Windcrest). lat/long is 33.057277, -96.803895. Here it is on Google Maps.
The northern sign (Shawnee Trail with Story Tree) is on Children’s Health’s campus.lat.long is 33.078671, -96.799186. Here it is on Google Maps.