Farmstead Namesake & History
Our Namesake – Deanna Rose
The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead was renamed in 1985 to honor Deanna Sue Rose, an Overland Park police officer killed in the line of duty. In January 1985, Deanna was injured when a suspect she was trying to arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated knocked her to the ground and ran over her. She died two days later from her injuries.
Officer Rose was the first Overland Park police officer and the first woman officer in Kansas to die in the line of duty. She received a posthumous award for valor from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police. Prior to working for Overland Park, Officer Rose graduated cum laude from Wichita State University in criminal justice and was a member of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office.
The Farmstead serves as a permanent and living reminder of Officer Rose’s love for animals and her zest for life.
When the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead opened nearly 40 years ago, it had two miniature horses, two Shetland ponies, nine goats, six sheep, three calves, a dozen chickens, a vegetable garden, child-size replicas of a barn with a loft, a silo with a slide and a shaded seating area.
Today, the Farmstead has almost 250 farm animals and birds of prey, vegetable and flower gardens, a one-room country schoolhouse, a dairy barn, an old-time fishing pond, horse-drawn wagon rides, pony rides, playgrounds, Main Street, and more. Other interesting tidbits:
There was an on-site supervisor who lived in an apartment at the Farmstead for the first seven years. During its opening season, there was one supervisor and four seasonal employees. Today, there are eight supervisors, 75 seasonal staff members, and hundreds of regular volunteers.
11,000 visitors came to the Farmstead its first year; that’s now the attendance of a typical weekend. Over 400,000 visitors are now expected each year.
- 1971- The land known as Community Park was purchased by Overland Park.
- 1974 – Dedication of the future Farmstead site in Community Park by the local chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.
- 1976 – Major fundraising and planning for the Farmstead began.
- 1978 – The Farmstead opened Memorial Day weekend. The first year there were 11,000 visitors.
- 1985 – On May 27, 1985, the Farmstead changed its name to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. This was done as a memorial to Deanna Rose, the first Overland Park police officer killed in the line of duty.
- 1988 – The east entrance waterfall was completed.
- 1993 – Horse-drawn wagon rides were offered at the Farmstead for the first time.
- 1996 – Friends of the Farmstead was established as the not-for-profit group which would help raise funds for future projects and programs at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.
- 1999 – The City of Overland Park finalized plans for the Farmstead Expansion project.
- 2000 – The Fishing Shack and Grandpa Bob’s Fishing Pond opened to the public.
- 2001 – Pony rides started.
- 2002 – Helen’s Country School and party corrals were added to the Farmstead.
- 2003 – The Kanza Indian Encampment opened.
- 2004 – The Prairie Playground and Dominic’s Water feature were added to create new places for children to play.
- 2005 – The Pavilion, Beverly’s Butterfly Garden, and the Kiwanis’s Repose Garden Area opened.
- 2006 – Pygmy Goat Feeding and the Tractor Track were added as the newest activities for guests to enjoy.
- 2007 – The Dairy Barn and Cinemoo Theater opened.
- 2009 – On August 29 Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead celebrated the opening of the new Entrance Building.
- 2010 – Ben’s Bank, the first addition to the Farmstead’s Main Street Expansion, was added and the Discovery Passbook Program began.
- 2011 – Alex and Emily’s Ice Cream Parlor, Vic’s General Store, and Gayle’s Exploration Outpost are added to the Farmstead’s Main Street Expansion.
- 2014 – John’s Blacksmith Shop, Ray’s Barber Shop, and Pat’s Photography Parlor are added to the Farmstead’s Main Street.
- 2017 – Construction begins on the Ben Craig Administration Building and an equipment maintenance building.
- 2021 – Mackenzie’s Island
Overland Park, KS 66221