Three French-Canadian brothers were among the first settlers of the Topeka area. In 1842, these three brothers married three sisters from the Kanza tribe and established a ferry servicing the river. The overflowing banks of the Kansas River with their fertile soil have always been a blessing for Topeka residents, creating a good means for agriculture. The Oregon Trail – which also traversed the Kansas River at Topeka – meant that westward travelers passed through the town quite often. This turned the then-small town into a natural rail hub making the railroad industry the key business within the city.
Topeka developed where cattle ranches of the southwest met with the Corn Belt between the rich untapped mineral resources of the Mississippi Valley. Prior to World War II, the economic structure of Topeka resembled that of a medium-sized Midwestern area dependent greatly on its agricultural base. During the war, however, manufacturing and government/military services became the primary base of Topeka economy. Today, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Food 4 Less, Target and a wealth of other popular companies have chosen Topeka to be one of their bases.
Topeka's centrally located Sac and Fox Casino offers visitors access to a full casino along with entertainment and fine dining. Built on a Native American reservation, the casino offers such games as Blackjack, Roulette, 21 Madness, Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride and Double Deck Blackjack. Slot machines are also plentiful with more than 470 machines. Progressive machines offer $1,000,000 jackpot for a mere $3 bet.
For outdoor lovers, the Lake Shawnee Recreational Area is a virtual paradise. Lake Shawnee is a manmade 411-acre lake that offers such recreational opportunities as fishing, boating, sailing and swimming. The entire recreational area spans more than 1,500 acres with foot trails surrounding the lake. Also on site are fish hatcheries to stock the lake, a marina, shelter houses, ball diamonds and gardens. Activity centers offer aerobics, arts and dance classes, and the park sponsors many annual events, such as car shows, craft shows and rowing championships.
Whether you are searching for your next home in Topeka, or looking to invest in real estate, browse current real estate listings, residential Topeka homes for sale, single - family houses, condominiums, townhouses, or investment opportunities, to find your perfect home. View other relocation resources such as real estate market trends, sold property values in your neighborhood, mortgage financing options and professional real estate agent assistance.