Retrace the drama of freedom’s struggles and triumphs in the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. Spread across 29 Kansas counties (and 12 in our neighboring state to the east), more than 200 museums and heritage sites highlight their roles in the Kansas-Missouri Border War and the shaping of the frontier. For starters, survey history along the 168-mile Frontier Military Historic Byway that follows a military supply line south from Fort Leavenworth. Branch out to museums and sites that explore the Underground Railroad, native tribes, overland trails and the battles to influence Kansas’ future.
Constitution Hall State Historic Site - Lecompton
Hear stories of the tense 1857 pre-Civil War confrontation when the newly elected free-state majority protested the proslavery constitutional convention meeting here. The issue that riveted the nation: whether Kansas territory would join the United States as a slave or free state.
Constitution Hall State Historic Site
James Henry Lane had a significant impact on Kansas history and is one of Constitution Hall’s more colorful characters. He was part of a large antislavery delegation that marched into Lecompton to protest the convening…
First Territorial Capitol State Historic Site - Fort Riley
Territorial capitol for only five days in 1855, the limestone building still stands to tell its story. Strategically built away from Missouri’s proslavery influences, the capitol is where the legislature planned to choose a permanent seat, create a constitution and decide the slavery issue. Instead, the proslavery legislature adjourned to Shawnee Mission closer to the border.
First Territorial Capital State Historic Site
Stone building where proslavery forces tried to guide the fate of Kansas Territory when the first Territorial legislature convened in July 1855. This location is part of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area…
Kansas Museum of History - Topeka
This collection of all things Kansas spans from native peoples and historic trails to more recent relics. Time travel past a Cheyenne tepee, a Wichita grass lodge, an 1880s steam engine and a 1914 biplane. Outdoors, trek the 2½-mile nature trail.
Kansas Museum of History
The Kansas Museum of History is now closed for major renovations. What's Next for the Museum? The next phases of major renovations for the Kansas Museum of History: Repairs on the exterior plaza Remodeling in the Museum…
Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum - Kansas City
In the former Vernon Elementary School of Quindaro, learn the story of the Quindaro Townsite, established along the Missouri River by abolitionists in 1856 as a free-state port of entry and sanctuary for runaway slaves. Trace their perilous journey to freedom through photos and artifacts.
Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum
The museum is currently closed, tours of the Quindaro Museum and Overlook are available by appointment only. Housed in the historic Vernon Multi-Purpose Center, the museum houses several artifacts and documents that tell…
Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site - Fairway
Where children from Shawnee, Delaware and other nations once attended school, learn about the Shawnee tribe and other early Kansans. Three original 19th-century buildings remain at this National Historic Landmark, which also served as a territorial capitol, supply point on the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, and Union soldiers’ Civil War encampment.
Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site
Come and see the manual training school attended by Shawnee, Delaware, and other Indian nations from 1839 to 1862. The Shawnee Mission served as an early territorial capitol, supply point on the Santa Fe and Oregon…
Venture onward to discover more historic sites and time-traveling experiences in the 2022 Official Kansas Travel Guide.