Douglas County Museums and Historic Sites
Castle Museum Complex - First home of Baker University,
Kansas' oldest 4-year college. It was built in 1857-58 and now exhibits of
Baker University and the Santa Fe Trail. Also on the Complex grounds is the
Palmyra Post Office and the Kibbee Cabin. 515 5th Street, Baldwin City, Kansas 66006,
Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum - This
small museum features two permanent exhibits, "The Underground Railroad in
and "The First 20 Years," highlighting the early history of Clinton Lake. Other
temporary exhibits are also featured. Call to schedule tour. Bloomington Park,
Kansas 66044, 785-748-0800.
Haskell Cultural Center & Museum - Features exhibits from the university's
archival and artifact collections and provides a learning center to understand
more about Haskell University's diverse history. A gallery exhibits student and
American Indian artwork and the grounds include a Veterans memorial and
amphitheater. Haskell Indian Nations University, 155 Indian Avenue,
Museum of Anthropology - Focusing on people from
around the world, the museum's extensive collections, which have accumulated
since the turn of the century, now include nearly two million items. Spooner
Hall, 1430 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence,
Kansas 66045, 785-864-4245.
Natural History Museum - The museum's exhibits focus on the
biological diversity, past and present, of Kansas and the Great Plains. Located in Dyche Hall, 1345 Jayhawk
Museum of Art - Located on the
University of Kansas campus, the museum houses an
internationally-known collection numbering nearly 36,000 artworks
and artifacts in all media. 1301 Mississippi St., University of
Community Museum of History - Located
in the 1880's Lawrence City
Hall Building, the museum houses exhibits and artifacts of the
area's history, including the history of Lawrence and
dating back 300 million years. Focus on Lawrence
as an 1850's Free State fortress, early pioneers and even a display
on basketball history. 1047 Massachusetts Street, 785-841-4109
Constitution Hall State Historic Site - A National Landmark
and Kansas Historic Site, Constitution Hall was built in 1856
to house the official
Kansas Territorial government, at that time, a pro-slavery
group. Today it displays two floors of pre-Civil War exhibits
and artifacts. 315 Elmore Street, 785-887-6520
Territorial Capitol Museum - Lane University - This building
was started with an appropriation to become the capitol of the State
of Kansas, but was
never finished. Later, it was finished as Lane University. Today it
contains three floors of artifacts which include information from
Pre Civil War Kansas,
maps, books and documents along with Lane University and period
furnishings and memorabilia. 609 E. Woodson, 785-887-6285 or
Black Jack Battlefield - The site of the
Battle of Black Jack
where John Brown led his militia against a proslavery force on June 2, 1856.
This armed clash is considered by many to have been the first battle of the
American Civil War. Located on U.S. Route 56 and County Road 2000, three miles
Case Hall - Baker University's first library building, it
was completed in 1907 Carnegie Foundation it is now listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
Parmenter Hall - With its distinguishing tower, is was
the first building actually built on the Baker University campus. The cornerstone was laid in June, 1866, but lack of
financing delayed completion until 1881, although Baker University
moved in in 1871. Located at Eighth and Dearborn.
Palmyra Post Office - The old Palmyra Post Office and
Blood's Grocery, (1857-1862) served travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and the
community of Palmyra before the town was absorbed by Baldwin City.
Robert Hall Pearson Farm - On a rise overlooking the
Battle of Black Jack
site is a farmhouse built by Robert Hall Pearson
in the 1880s. Pearson fought beside John Brown in the skirmish. Located at
163 E. 2000 Rd.
Santa Fe Depot - Built in 1906 to serve the
Leavenworth, Lawrence and Fort Gibson Railroad, the depot is on the National
Register of Historic Places and belongs to the Santa Fe Historical Society.
Train rides are available. 1601 High St.
Santa Fe Trail-Douglas County Trail Segments - Located off
U.S. Route 56, 2.5 miles east of Baldwin City.
Stoebener Barn - Old
stone barn about eight miles west of
Baldwin Cityin the vicinity of
the old townsite of Worden.
Clinton School District 25 - Originally built as a school, this historic
building now serves as the Clinton Town Hall. Located at 1180 N. 604 East Road.
Barber School Number 82 - In 1871,
the District Board purchased 1½ acres for a one room school house. It was named
after Thomas W. Barber, who was
Kansas' first martyr in the days of
Bleeding Kansas. It is located in Clinton Lake State Park.
Carnegie Building - Built in 1904, this building is one of
Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic contributions to the growth of cultural
opportunities for rural communities. The building was utilized as a library
until 1972, when it became home to the Lawrence Arts Center until 2002. Since
that time, it has sadly sat empty, apparently the problem of local politics
inability to decide the proper use of the building. The beautiful building is
located at 9th and Vermont.
Eldridge Hotel - Pro-slavery attacks burned the Eldridge
Hotel to the ground twice during the years of
Bleeding Kansas. In the 1863
the first goal of Quantrill's raiders was to capture the Eldridge House. Today,
the Eldridge Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and
continues to provide lodging. 701 Massachusetts St.,
Haskell Indian Nations University - This university first
opening its doors in 1884 as the United States Indian Industrial Training
School. Haskell's 320-acre campus contains 12 sites listed in the National
Register of Historic Landmarks. A self-guided tour brochure can be obtained at
the Convention and Visitors Bureau located in the Depot in north
N. 2nd Street, 888-865-4499.
Historic Homes Tour - Lawrence
is filled with dozens of homes listed on
the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic district includes 126
homes and a self-guided tour brochurecan be obtained at the Convention and
Visitors Bureau located in the Depot in north Lawrence,
402 N. 2nd Street, 888-865-4499.
Historic Cemeteries Tour - Five historic cemeteries in
provide a fascinating glimpse into the town's Free-State struggle, Civil War
period, and settlement days. The self-guided tour takes you to a home place
burial site, a town settlement cemetery, and ethnic and institutional burial
site at Haskell Indian Nations University, and a memorial park and a rural
cemetery. A self-guided tour brochure can be obtained at the Convention and
Visitors Bureau located in the Depot in north Lawrence, 402 N. 2nd Street,
Hobbs Park Memorial - A new public monument which builds
upon the community's abolitionist roots. It is situated in a 1860s masonry
dwelling, which was constructed after the
in 1863. Located in Hobbs Park at 11th and Delaware Streets.
Lawrence Depot and Visitors Center - Built in 1889 by the
Union Pacific Railroad, the historic depot now houses the Lawrence's Visitor
Information Center and public meeting facility. 402 N. 2nd Street, 888-865-4499.
Old Douglas County Courthouse - This building was built of native limestone in
1904 and was saved from demolition in the 1960s when a modern courthouse was
built. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is
currently in use by the county. Located at the southeastern corner of
Massachusetts and 11th Streets in Lawrence.
Opera House/Liberty Hall - Built in 1911 as the Bowersock
Opera House after fire destroyed the original Liberty Hall. It was renovated in
the 1980s, it is now home to a fine arts theatre and live music venue. 644
University of Kansas - There are several campus buildings
listed on the National Register including Spooner Hall, Strong Hall, Green Hall
and Dyche Hall.
Old Lawrence Post Office - Now housing the Lawrence Journal-World, located at 645 New Hampshire.
Barnes Apple Barn - Constructed around 1857, the Barnes
Apple Barn was built for the purpose of processing grapes, apples and pears from
the Vinland Nursery and Fruit Farm. It is located at 714 E 1728 Rd.
Coal Creek Library - Still operating today, this library is one
oldest libraries west of the Mississippi River, operating
Grange Hall - Listed on the National Register of
Junction of Oak and Main Streets.
Vinland Fair Association Fairgrounds - Historic
fairgrounds exhibit building.
Vinland Presbyterian Church -
697 E. 1725 Rd.
Democratic Headquarters - Headquarters of the
Democratic Party during the
Territorial period (1854-61.) Bald Eagle River View Park, E.
Radical United Brethren Church - In 1889, the General
Conference of the United Brethern Church voted to allow church
members to belong to secret orders, which could provide insurance
for the members. This caused a break up in the church and the
Radical United Brethren Church was built in 1906. It now serves as a
Fort Titus Cabin - Site of the Battle of
Fort Titus, the Lecompton Historical Society, has
constructed a representation of Henry Titus' cabin that sits 100
yards southeast of the Territorial Capitol Museum.
Compiled and edited by
of Kansas, updated March, 2017.
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