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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

Constitution Hall, Lecompton

The first proslavery Constitution for Kansas was written in this building. 

Meet Kansas Territorial Characters - Constitution Hall

 

 

Fort Hays, Hays

Fort Hays Guardhouse

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.

Guided tour

Theme tours at Fort Hays

  • 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 HouseGoodnow House, Manhattan 

This house was the home of free-stater Isaac Goodnow who established Kansas State University. 

General tour

 

 

 

 

Grinter HouseGrinter 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.

Early Settlers, River Trade, and Prairie Life - Grinter Place

General tour

 

Hollenberg StationHollenberg 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.

Wagons Ho! for the Oregon-California Trail

General tour

 

 

Adair Cabin - John Brown MuseumJohn 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 State Historic SiteKaw 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.

American Indian Homes in Kansas - Kaw Mission

 

 

Minecreek BattlefieldMine 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.


The Civil War Comes to Kansas

 

 

 

 

Earthen floor of Pawnee Museum

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.  

American Indian Homes in the Central Plains - Pawnee Indian Museum

Nature, A Pawnee Means of Survival

When Smoke Curled Upward from Earth Lodges

 

Shawnee Indian MissionShawnee Indian Mission, Fairway

 

 

William Allen White HouseWilliam 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.

Hats Off to William Allen White - William Allen White House

Taking a Stand - Writings of William Allen White

 

William Allen White and the Reform Era - William Allen White House

 

 

At other Historical Society locations

Kansas State CapitolKansas 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.

 

 

 

Research RoomState Archives, Topeka

Guided tours of the library, archives and research center are available for middle school students and older.

 

 

 

Reservation information

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.