Self-guided tours at the Historic Sites
At the State Historic Sites
Our historic sites each have a story to tell. Guided tours of the site offer the visitor more insight to that story. Because staff is limited at the historical sites, the tour may not have a guide but the site administrator will make every effort to assist your group. Some sites also offer maps of the grounds.
Constitution Hall, Lecompton
The first proslavery Constitution for Kansas was written in this building.
Fort Hays, Hays
Fort Hays consist of a Visitors Center with exhibits and tours of four of the original buildings: the blockhouse, the guardhouse and the two officer's quarters. Be sure to visit the newly renovated Visitors Center and guardhouse. The fort's primary purpose was to protect workers building the railroad and was also home to the Buffalo Soldiers, Generals George Custer and Phillip Sheridan.
- American Indians and The Buffalo
- From Reveille to Taps: Bugle Calls at Fort Hays
- Button Boards and Glass Grenades: Military Oddities of the 1800s
- Grating, Grinding and Shaving: Antique Kitchen Gadgets
- Victorian Secrets: What Women Wore in the 1800s and explains each item.
Goodnow House, Manhattan
This house was the home of free-stater Isaac Goodnow who established Kansas State University.
Grinter Place, Kansas City, KS
Moses and Annie Grinter lived in this house which was built on Delaware Indian land near the ferry crossing on the Kansas River. The grounds includes a nature trail and picnic area.
Hollenberg Pony Express Station, Hanover
The Hollenbergs operated this way station on the Oregon Trail and a Pony Express station on this site. Students can view the exhibits in the Visitors Center, walk the actual Oregon Trail, and eat in the picnic area.
John Brown Museum, Osawatomie
The Reverend Samuel and Florella Adair and lived in this cabin which was a stop along the underground railroad. Abolitionist John Brown, Florella's half-brother, used the cabin as his headquarters during his stay in Kansas. Topics associated with this site are Bleeding Kansas, famous Kansans, and Kansas settlers.
Kaw Mission, Council Grove
This Mission was a home and school to Kaw Indian boys from 1851-1854. A stone house built by the US government for the Kansa (Kaw) Indians is located on the grounds. The mission building itself also stood on an important camping area for the traders on the Santa Fe Trail.
Mine Creek Battlefield, Pleasanton
One of the largest Civil War cavalry battles took place at this historic site. It was here that Southern General Sterling Price and his troops were defeated by the Union recruits. The visitor center has a museum of Civil War related items. Visitors can walk on the battleground site.
Pawnee Indian Museum, Republic
A large Pawnee Indian village consisting of earth lodges stood at this site in the early 1800s. The museum encloses the excavated floor of one of the larger lodges. Students can walk the grounds looking at the depressions of other earth lodges, visit the nature trail, and picnic on the site.
Shawnee Indian Mission, Fairway
- American Indian Homes in Kansas
- Jumping Off to the Oregon Trail
- Traveling the Santa Fe Trail
- Manifest Destiny and Its Impact on American Indian Culture
- General tour
William Allen White House, Emporia
The Sage of Emporia, who was an advisor to many presidents, and a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, , and William Allen White, made his home here. If the walls of the house could talk, we would learn much of life in Kansas during the first half of the 20th century.
At other Historical Society locations
Kansas State Capitol Tour Center, Topeka
Regularly scheduled tours of the Kansas State Capitol are available for the public and school groups. Due to construction not all floors are available for touring.
State Archives, Topeka
Guided tours of the library, archives and research center are available for middle school students and older.
All tours should be scheduled with a two weeks advance notice no matter where the tour will take place. Tours require a minimum of ten participants (not including chaperones) per tour. Reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis and will be confirmed by email or through a phone conversation.
Prices range from $1 to $6 for children depending upon the tour.