Making History

Presidents, prehistoric beasts, and the Wild West all await you on Kansas I-70!

 

Goodland – Exits 17 & 19


  • Kidder Massacre Site

    In 1867, Lt. Lyman Kidder, his 10 enlisted men and a Native American scout were taking a dispatch to Lt. Col. George Custer. All of them were killed in a battle with Cheyenne and Lakota warriors. The site is near Sherman County Roads 77 and 28. Learn more...

  • High Plains Museum/America’s First Patented Helicopter

    Find out more about life on the High Plains and operate the working replica of America’s First Patented Helicopter. Learn more...

  • Ennis-Handy House/United Telephone Building

    Sherman County Historical Society preserves two iconic Goodland buildings. The Ennis-Handy House, a 1907 Victorian home, 202 W. 13th has all the Queen Anne-style details anyone would want. The United Telephone Building, 1003 Main, is an Art Deco triumph currently under restoration. Learn more...


 

Colby – Exits 53 & 54


  • Historic Thomas County Courthouse

    The courthouse was built in 1906 in the Romanesque style. It has a five-story clock tower that you must see to appreciate. It was put on the National Register in 1976. Learn more...

  • The Thomas County Historical Society

    This was started in 1959, with the mission to collect photographs, artifacts, and histories of the Region. Located in the Prairie Museum, there is always someone to share our histories. Learn more...

  • Prairie Museum of Art & History

    Have you been in an old sod house, or a one room school, or the biggest barn in Kansas? There is so much more to see and experience here. Learn more...


 

Oakley – Exits 70 & 76


  • Monument Rocks

    Designated as the first National Natural Landmark in Kansas, these magnificent marine sedimentary deposits rise up to 50 feet above ground. Each inch represents about 700 years of history! Learn more...

  • Fick Fossil Museum

    “One of American’s top 25 museums” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Walk through history from the prehistoric to the 21st century. Learn more...

  • Buffalo Bill Cultural Center

    Oakley celebrates the Birthplace of the Legend of Buffalo Bill. Inside displays share area history and plains culture. Come experience the “Wild West”. Learn more...


 

Wakeeney – Exits 127 & 128


  • Trego County Historical Museum

    Take a walk through time at the Trego County Historical Museum. The museum includes many different displays from Trego County’s history dating back to the mid-1800s. An original one-room schoolhouse, Pleasant Valley, was relocated to the museum grounds in 1997. A new addition to the museum features a large mural, painted by local artists, of past Trego County life. Learn more...

  • Smoky Hill Trail or Butterfield Overland Despatch (BOD)

    David Butterfield established Butterfield’s Overland Despatch in 1865 from Atchison or Fort Leavenworth to Denver. The BOD essentially followed the Smoky Hill Trail along the Smoky Hill River in Kansas. The trail was the shortest route to the Rocky Mountain gold fields but it wasn’t always the safest. Today you can find BOD markers throughout Trego County where the BOD crossed the north-south roads. Learn more...

  • Historic Wilcox School

    The Wilcox School, District #29, is located on the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway and was recently restored in 2018. The school served Wilcox Township, a rural settlement approximately 16 miles south of WaKeeney along the Smoky Hill River, for over sixty years. The school was built of native limestone by the early settlers. Learn more...


 

Hays – Exits 157 & 159


  • Historic Fort Hays

    Established in 1865 in the land of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, the fort protected railroad workers and travelers on the Smoky Hill Trail. See the soldier’s clothing, weapons, and personal items, including George Custer’s dumbbell forged by the fort’s blacksmith. Learn more...

  • Fort Hays State University

    Fort Hays State University is a regional comprehensive university with over 15,000 on-campus, online, and international students. Undergraduate and graduate students pursue degrees in 31 academic departments in five colleges and through the Graduate School. FHSU blazes a trail in higher education through innovative teaching, learning, research and service. The university’s reach is global, and its work brings the world closer to Kansas. Learn more...

  • Oktoberfest

    For 47 years the Volga German Society has celebrated German history, heritage, and homecoming at the annual Oktoberfest. Municipal Park will be filled with the sound of Polka music, the smell of traditional bierocks and brats, and plenty of beer. Learn more...


 

Russell County – EXITS 180, 184, 189 & 206


  • Fossil Station Museum

    Built in 1907, Fossil Station was originally the county jail, sheriff’s office and living quarters. Rooms display educational settings of artifacts used or created by Russell County residents from the mid–1800s to the present. Learn more...

  • Heym – Oliver House

    The locally cut-stone home was constructed in 1879 by John George Nicholas Heym. His family of nine lived in this tiny home. It had 11 owners and sold once for $1. Learn more...

  • A Fairport Knight

    A quaint, rustic cabin refurbished in recycled decor located in the hills of fairport. Russell county’s newest botique lodging option is complete with an outdoor entertainment space. Perfect for meetings, reunions or that special anniversary. Learn more...


 

Salina – EXITS 244, 250, 252 & 258


  • Smoky Hill Museum

    Check out the free museum that uncovers the heritage of the Smoky Hill region in permanent and changing exhibits. Learn more...

  • Yesteryear Museum

    Discover Salina’s agricultural story through artifacts, displays, and events at the Yesteryear Museum. Learn more...

  • The Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts

    The Stiefel Theatre is a cornerstone of cultural life in Salina. Presenting big-name concerts, comedy, dance and children’s shows, the Stiefel is the home stage for the Salina Symphony and Salina Youth Symphony. Learn more...


 

ABILENE – EXITS 272 & 275


  • Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum & Boyhood Home

    Named Best Kansas Attraction by USA Today, the Eisenhower Presidential Library is one of only 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The 22-acre campus includes the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, Visitors Center, Boyhood Home and Place of Meditation (final resting place). Using Ike and Mamie’s own words, the all-new exhibits are complete with new technology and interactive components. Discover why Dwight Eisenhower became known as the Champion of Peace. Learn about Mamie not only as First Lady, but as a friend. Come meet Ike and Mamie again – for the first time! Learn more...

  • Historic Seelye Mansion

    Named one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas – Architecture winners the historic Seelye Mansion was built in 1905 by Dr. and Mrs. A.B. Seelye at a cost of $55,000. The mansion contains the original furniture and Edison light fixtures. Tour the 25-rooms including 11 bedrooms, ballroom, bowling alley and kitchen areas. Special items of interest are the beautiful dining room, music room with gold French furniture and Steinway grand piano, library and the Tiffany-designed fireplace in the grand hall. Open daily. Learn more...

  • Dickinson County Heritage Center

    Learn about Dickinson County’s famous former residents, including Abilene’s former town Marshal Wild Bill Hickok. C.L. Brown’s telephone company eventually became known as Sprint. Joseph McCoy brought hundreds of thousands of cattle to Abilene in the 1860s. Abilene became a booming cowtown at the end of the Chisholm Trail. Take a whirl on the 1901 C.W. Parker Carousel, believed to be the oldest operating Parker carousel in existence. The carousel is hand-carved featuring 24 horses and four chariots. Learn more...


 

JUNCTION CITY – EXITS 295-301


  • Heritage Park Historic Heritage Park

    Heritage Park Historic Heritage Park is located at the intersection of Junction City’s two main streets, Sixth and Washington. This park celebrates the great heritage of our city, state, and country. This park features a fountain that shoots water up to 12-feet in the air, a band stand, the Kansas Vietnam Memorial, The Civil War Memorial arch pictured here, along with benches and other features that celebrate and help to remember our city’s illustrious history. Learn more...

  • Fort Riley's Hometown

    Known as “Fort Riley’s Hometown” – Junction City and Geary County puts the stories in history. Learn more...

  • Custer House

    Custer House Constructed in 1855 of native limestone, the Custer House reflects Fort Riley’s earliest history and authentically depicts military home life on the western frontier during the Indian Wars Period. Learn more...


 

MANHATTAN – EXITS 303 & 313


  • Riley County Historical Museum

    Discover the past through changing exhibits on Riley County history and in the photographs, manuscripts, letters, diaries and records of our research library. Admission is free! Learn more...

  • Kansas State University Gardens

    Soon after the University began, the Kansas State University Gardens was established in 1871. Discover the unique agricultural history The Gardens contain and don’t forget to visit the Insect Museum. Learn more...

  • Wolf House

    The Wolf House Museum provides a unique setting in which to experience Riley County history of the late 1860s. Learn more...


 

LECOMPTON – EXIT 197


  • Constitution Hall

    A National Landmark and State historic site. Location of the drafting of the Lecompton Constitution which piloted the country into civil war. Learn more...

  • Territorial Capital Museum

    The museum is housed in the former Lane University. President Dwight Eisenhower’s parents were Lane students and were married in its chapel. Learn more...

  • Bleeding Kansas series

    The Bleeding Kansas series is held every year on Sundays beginning the end of January. Each program highlights territorial history. Learn more...


 

LAWRENCE – EXITS 197, 202 & 204


  • Watkins Museum of History

    Lawrence and Douglas County’s history is filled with inspiration and surprise. Explore the stories that define our community at The Watkins. Learn more...

  • Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

    Learn the legacy of Senator Bob Dole. The museum gallery in the Dole Institute of Politics features the world’s largest stained-glass American flag and World Trade Center Beams. Learn more...

  • Self-Guided Cemetery Tour

    Stop by the Lawrence Visitors Center at 812 Massachusetts Street to get the Historic Cemeteries of the Lawrence Area self-guided tour brochure and discover the final resting places of some of Lawrence and Kansas’ most notable residents. Learn more...


 

Leavenworth – Exits 396 & 401


  • C.W. Parker Carousel Museum

    C.W. Parker Carousel Museum tells the story of the “Carnival King” and his dream of entertaining America in the early 1900’s. Learn more...

  • Historical Wayside Tour

    Historical Wayside Tour invites you to take a walk back in time and explore the history of “Where the West Began.” There are 19 wayside markers featuring historic stories of Leavenworth. Learn more...

  • Frontier Army Museum on Fort Leavenworth

    Tells the history of the American Frontier from 1804 to 1917 highlighting uniforms, weapons and equipment used during the early days of the fort. Learn more...


 

Bonner Springs -KS Turnpike Exit 224


  • Historic Downtown Bonner Springs

    Visit the unique shops of Downtown Bonner Springs where you will enjoy unhurried shopping and small town service. Fashion accessories, clothing, home décor, vintage décor, collectibles, fabric, toys and marbles await your arrival. Learn more...

  • The National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame

    Take a journey 100 years long in this unique museum and complex chartered by Congress to honor the American farmer. Visit the National Farmer’s Memorial, Agricultural Hall of Fame, Museum of Farming and Farm Town USA, and the popular miniature train rides. Visit website for special events. Learn more...

  • Wyandotte County Museum

    Immerse yourself in the history of Wyandotte County and learn about the American Indians living here before Christopher Columbus. Open Monday to Saturday with free admission. Learn more...


 

SHAWNEE – EXITS 224 (SOUTH OFF 7) & 411A (SOUTH OFF 435)


  • Shawnee Town 1929

    Step back into a true to life midwestern farm town in downtown Shawnee. ST29 offers events and programming year round! Learn more...

  • Pioneer Crossing Park

    Celebrating the various pioneer trails that went through Shawnee, this park hosts two sculptures designed in native to Kansas limestone! Learn more...

  • Veteran’s Tribute Park

    Twin obelisks support a bronze globe for the Hands of Freedom monument in this park. Learn more...


 

KANSAS CITY – EXITS 410-423


  • Quindaro Ruins & Overlook

    Peek into the past at the stone and brick foundations that still stand at the port of entry for free soil immigrants traveling into Kansas from the Missouri River. Quindaro served as an important station on the Underground Railroad. Stop by the Old Quindaro Museum and the Underground Railroad Museum to learn more about Quindaro. Learn more...

  • Grinter Place State Historical Site

    Grinter Place State Historic Site offers the ideal setting for meetings, events and parties just minutes away from Kansas Speedway, Children’s Mercy Park and Legends Outlets Kansas City. Home of Moses Grinter, one of Kansas’ earliest pioneer settlers, who established the first ferry across the Kansas River. The 1857 Georgian Vernacular home built on the Delaware Indian Reserve may be the oldest farmhouse in Kansas. Learn more...

  • Lewis & Clark Park at Kaw Point

    The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at Kaw Point, the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, on June 26, 1804. The expedition camped there for three days. Kaw Point remains in a natural state with beautiful wooded trails, wildflowers, and wildlife. Located along the river, the park has access to the river, the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail, an open air education pavilion and an outdoor amphitheater for special events. The “Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail” connects bikers and hikers from Kaw Point to Kansas City, Mo., via the historic Woodsweather Bridge. Learn more...