Storied. Revered. Preserved. Timeless tributes to days of old.
Discover a national treasure
If these walls could talk, they’d tell a story deeply rich in history. Nestled in the heart of historic downtown, the Fort Scott National Historic Site is furnished to the 1840s era, but the story told here encompasses three decades of American history.
The Fort Scott National Historic Site preserves 20 historic structures, 11 of which are original buildings, the others are reconstructions built on the original foundations. From 1842 to 1873, these buildings stood witness to epic events that shaped the entire country, including the the turmoil of “Bleeding Kansas” and the Civil War.
The site is open daily for self-guided tours, but guided tours also are available.
Explore Kansas’ oldest mining town
319 W 7th St
Located on historic Route 66 and housed in the old Kansas-Missouri-Texas train depot, the Galena Mining and Historical Museum contains an expansive collection of mining and railroad memorabilia, train and military equipment, a vintage Model T and a wide variety of artifacts. Outside exhibits include an old train engine, caboose, Army tank, a wealth of mining equipment and so much more.
The museum abounds with local history, and the collections are sure to intrigue all who stop. Galena is a town full of history, and the museum is a perfect reflection of just that.
History kept under wraps
For three cold days in December 1921, thousands of wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of striking miners participated in a protest against unfair labor practices and laws in the coalfields of Southeast Kansas.
This march came on the heels of women winning the right to vote, but the protests led by the “Amazon Army” ultimately inspired labor reforms across the nation.
Until recently, the march had faded from public memory. The Miners Hall Museum now chronicles the story, and locals continue to unearth details of this history changing effort.
Learn Civil War history
740 E Ave
The Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum is a history buff’s paradise. Enjoy highly interpretive exhibits in this over 20,000- square-foot museum brimming with history.
The exhibits depict the city’s history from the days of the Osage Indians to the Civil War and the lead and zinc mining era.
Relive the Dalton Gang’s final heist
814 Walnut St
In 1892, the infamous Dalton Gang made the fateful decision to try and rob two Coffeyville banks at one time. The loyal citizens of Coffeyville recognized the outlaws and decided to defend their beloved town. A 12-minute battle ensued between the gang and the brave men defending their town. In the end, eight men lay dead and the rest is history.
Explore mementos and artifacts from this famous raid at the Dalton Defenders & Coffeyville History Museum. While there, walk across the street and visit the Old Condon Bank located in the Perkins Building that has been restored to its condition at the time of the raid. Stroll down Death Alley, where the gang tied their horses and the raid ultimately ended.
The museum also houses exhibits of other collections pertaining to Coffeyville history, including its connection to baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson.
Visit Red Rocks – Host of 5 Presidents
927 Exchange St
Now a State Historic Site, Red Rocks was once the home of nationally and internationally known editor and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist William Allen White.
White was the the editor of the Emporia Gazette from 1899 until his death in 1944. Their family entertained five different presidents and other prominent Americans such as Frank Lloyd Wright.
You can tour the house and see where President Roosevelt slept during his visit.
Unbelievable stories saved by students
1 S Main
The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes works to transform classrooms and communities through student-driven projects that discover unsung heroes from history and teach the “power of one” to create positive change. Engaging, unbelievable true stories researched and composed by students fill the hall.
It’s the home of the “Life in a Jar” project, the story of Irena Sendler, a heroine who saved thousands of children during the Holocaust. Unknown even in her own country, her story was saved and told by a group Southeast Kansas high school students.
The Lowell Milken Center has reached more than one million students in more than 10,000 schools in all 50 states, with growing global impact.
Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum
111 N Lincoln
The Historic Santa Fe Depot in Chanute was built in 1903 and is now home to the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum. The old depot is currently on the Register of Historic Kansas Places. Inside, you can travel back in time and see life through the eyes and camera lenses of the Johnsons.
The adventurous and talented couple were pioneers among documentary filmmakers, authors and photographers. The Johnsons produced some of the first motion pictures with sound and documented cultures and wildlife from Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo.
Their love for each other was equal to their love for exotic travels, as is apparent in the vast collection of photographs. The award-winning exhibits and artifacts found inside the museum highlight the couple’s achievements, travels and passions.
Kansas’ largest Civil War battle site
One of the largest cavalry engagements of the Civil War, and the largest west of the Mississippi River, was fought at the Mine Creek Battlefield in Kansas on October 25, 1864, near present day Pleasanton
Two-thousand and 800 Union soldiers defeated nearly three times that number of Confederate soldiers. Today you can walk the battlefield at the Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site that offers a self-guided, walk-through tour featuring a visitor’s center with additional displays and information. Walk the 2.6-mile prairie loop and the timber loop trails, both guided by interpretive signage.
The location is part of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.
The bloody tale of America’s first serial killer family
401 S 18th
If you love true crime and history, then you will want to check out the Parsons Historical Museum and Iron Horse Museums. Inside, you will find artifacts from the infamous serial killer family from Labette County, the Bloody Benders, along with exhibits related to early county history, the MKT railroad as well as a Katy Depot replica.
Little House on the Prairie
2708 CR 3000
Sitting on the original land where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived with her family is the Little House on the Prairie Museum. See a replica of the Ingalls family one-room log cabin, Pa’s hand-dug well, the 1885 post office and the old one-room schoolhouse. Tour the interior of these buildings and check out the gift shop on site!
Visit a historic 1900s mansion
2109 S Walnut St
Ahead of its time, this elegant three-story mansion took eight years to complete. It includes a grand ballroom that spans the entire third floor, an elevator, a full basement that includes a single bowling alley, a wine cellar and more. Also, inside the home is a signed Tiffany chandelier and all original furniture.
The Brown Mansion was once a resting stop for William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States. Guided tours of this historic home are available.
Unique History Experience
141 S Wabash St
History buffs – novice to amateur – will not want to miss the Howard Benson Museums featuring 150 years of history in over 50,000 items. These collections are housed in eight buildings and that isn’t even the best part.
Admission is free!
Visitors can see everything from a mid-1900s doctor’s office and a mortician’s trade tools to replica living rooms, various clothing items dating back more than 100 years and military uniforms.
Fried Chicken Paradise
Six chicken houses located near each other grabs attention. The New Yorker published a feature in 1982. The Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” visited in 2010. BBC Travel went global with it in 2020. It’s even inspired a fictional novel.
Since the 1930’s travelers have asked why fried chicken is so popular in the Southeast Kansas region. It’s a story about a delicious, inexpensive family meal, survival, and hope.