As the county seat of Johnson County, Olathe is a thriving community that is rich in Kansas history. Olathe, the fifth largest city in Kansas, is located just 20 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City. An easy drive from downtown on I-35, Olathe has great access to the many cultural advantages available to residents in a major metropolitan area.Olathe, founded by Dr. John T. Barton in the spring of 1857, is a Shawnee word understood to mean "beautiful." This beautiful town functioned as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail. Back in the day, supplying travelers was the main source of income for local stores and businesses. A local landmark, the Mahaffie House, was a popular resupply point for wagons headed westward and is a registered historical site maintained by the City of Olathe. Olathe continues to be an important asset to the Kansas City metro area. The city has a thriving business industry that is home to several large corporations, including the headquarters of Garmin. The Olathe School District has compiled many accolades, including receiving 17 National Blue Ribbon School Awards from the U.S. Department of Education and having ACT and SAT scores that are above average to the nation. In addition to public schools, Olathe is also the home to the Kansas School for the Deaf, MidAmerica Nazarene University. There are over 43 neighborhood and community parks in Olathe, hosting a variety of year-round events.
The Ernie Miller Nature Center is a family-friendly place to enjoy the outdoors. Throw on your walking shoes, hike throughout the park, and educate yourself about the wilderness that surrounds you here. It is a great place for staying active and learning.