You Are Here: Putting Kansas on the Map
Through June 24, 2012
Special Exhibits Gallery
Kansas Museum of History
The answer to "Where are we?" can usually be found on a map. Maps provide us with information about what's around us and who we are. They help define Kansas and make it known to the world.
Enjoy the best maps from our collection in this showcase of Kansas places. This unique exhibit will present many maps that are very rare and seldom displayed. It also offers art work and objects related to maps and mapmaking.
Print and bring this special family gallery guide along when you visit.
Look for six major themes in You Are Here:
Explorers created the first impressions of Kansas. They focused mainly on its landscape.
- 1560 map of the New World
- 1823 map labeling the Great Plains the "Great American Desert"
The stories of Kansas' native tribes and their movements are told through maps.
- Map of Pottawatomie land allotments
- Indian reserves in 1854, showing Kansas Territory ending at the Rocky Mountains
- Plains Indian artifacts, including moccasins
Early travelers recorded the trails they used to crisscross the Great Plains.
- Topographical map of the Oregon Trail, 1846
- Cattle trail map through Gove County, with watering places for cattle, ca. 1888
- Army reconnaissance map showing the Santa Fe Trail and forts, 1870
Maps show how railroads shaped the settlement of Kansas.
- Land grant maps from the Union Pacific
- Official Kansas railroad map for 1885
- "Sporting Scenes in Kansas" prints from an extremely rare series commissioned after an Irish hunting expedition to Kansas, 1860s.
As towns developed, people developed maps to find their way through them.
- Imaginative map of Ness City, Kansas, featuring water canals
- 19th century surveying equipment
Roads and Highways
Cars and increased travel resulted in maps marked with roads, amenities, and places of interest.
- Maps produced by Conoco, White Eagle, and other gas companies
- Kansas travel maps from the early 20th century, such as the 1918 Hockaday road map
- Early road sign for Eisenhower Interstate Highway, the first section of interstate completed in the U.S.
Plan your visit to You Are Here: Putting Kansas on the Map.