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The Learning Tree Film Scene and Sign Trail

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The fall of 1968 in Fort Scott, Kansas, marked a historical time. This was when the first major Hollywood motion picture was directed by a black film director, Kansas’ native son, Gordon Parks. The Learning Tree, released in 1969, is based on a semi-autobiographical novel that Gordon Parks wrote in 1963. The film depicts a young boy becoming a man growing up in poverty and during segregation. This film, produced by Warner Brothers - Seven Arts Studios in Hollywood, was placed in the Library of Congress as one of the top 25 important films and continues to be very important today. Several of the important scenes were filmed on location in and around Fort Scott and Mound City. Hundreds of people from both Fort Scott and Mound City area were a part of the film as extras, with a few having speaking roles in the film. This filming holds fond memories for those who remember the activities taking place or were a part of some of the film scenes.


There are twelve to fifteen identified scene locations in and around Fort Scott. Visitors can drive or walk to scene locations. Each Sign will have a QR-Code for further information about each of the scenes. Each sign will also highlight where the nearest sign is located to each location. The trail is not in any specific order to follow, each visitor can choose which to visit. For more information about the trail and sign locations of each sign. Contact the Gordon Parks Museum at 620-223-2700 ext. 5850 or the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce 620-223-3566.  The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, provides a trolley tour that includes some of the scene locations. When visiting the trail, please use caution and follow all local and state traffic laws


 The Learning Tree Film Scene Location Sign Trail

  • Film and Sign Trail Information

  • Scene Sign Trail Map

  • Sign Trail Supporters and Contributors

  • Driving Tour Map

  • Virtual Tour

  • Fun Facts

  • Film Cast

  • Sound Track

  • Filming The Learning Tree

  • News Articles

  • Gordon Parks Day

  • Book Reference


The Jefferson's Home Scene
The Funeral Scene
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Eating Apples Scene
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The High School Scene
The Barn and Tornado Scene
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The Courthouse Scene
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    A.M.E Church Scene
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River Scene
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The Judge's Home Scene
The Carnival Scene
Jake Kiner's Farm Scene
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