Burlingame was originally established as Council City and was an stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The Council City post office was opened on April 30, 1855. The wide brick main street, Santa Fe Avenue, was built wide enough for an oxen team to be able to make a U-turn. The city and post office name was changed from Council City to Burlingame on January 30, 1858, in honor of Anson Burlingame.
During the Civil War the townspeople constructed a stone fort in the town center. Burlingame’s Fort was torn down after the war.
Burlingame is located on U.S. Route 56, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Topeka. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.89 square miles (2.31 km2), all of it land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Burlingame has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated “Cfa” on climate maps.