Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kansas History Field Trip (Days 3 and 4)

Wednesday morning we traveled from Topeka to Atchison. Our first stop was the Santa Fe Depot Museum. A tour guide gave us a quick overview then we meandered through the small, but very interesting museum. The children liked the clip of the song "On the Atichison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe" in a Judy Garland movie "The Harvey Girls". We read an account of Reverend Pardee Butler and pro slavery ruffians who set him afloat on the MO River with a 2 board raft intending that he drown so his blood wouldn't be on their hands.

For lunch we ate at a soda fountain that was recommended. Burgers, sloppy joes, egg salad, tenderloin and chips were our fare.

We walked through the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in a beautiful old home built in 1861. Lots of reading and non touchable exhibits, neat maps and photos.

front porch of Amelia's grandparents home overlooking the Missouri River
Next we meandered down the shady town streets following a brochure that pointed out opulent and splendid historic homes, architecture, and dates. Some had beautiful carriage houses behind. We watched a video in one restored horse barn. Atchison was one of the first settlements when the Kansas Territory was opened in 1854. It's position on the bend of the Missouri River helped it become an important supply point  with steamboats docking , then later the railroad originating here. It is a lovely romantic anniversary kind of place!

There is a marker where Abraham Lincoln gave a speech outside the courthouse years ago during his campaign. Back then, the KS-MO border towns were hotbeds for debate!

tour group picture by Abe Lincoln marker
We ate out of our coolers for supper on the river's edge at The Lewis & Clark Trail Park. On July 4, 1804 their expedition passed through and camped in the vicinity.

We stayed at this little churchhouse for 2 nights. The first evening we watched an exciting documentary about Lewis and Clark.

Day 4
Thursday morning breakfast treat at the pastor's home in Atchison. Several of us also showered here for the first time on our trip. 

We drove a half hour south to Leavenworth, entered the army post, and spent the morning inside the Frontier Army Museum. After a picnic lunch and short playtime on a playground. We peeked inside an old chapel (as our tour guide is a retired army chaplain), drove past the National Cemetery, and walked through the Buffalo (black) Soldier Monument.

Next we left post and drove through town to the Veteran's National Cemetery. Sobering, impressive, and beautiful.

The children spotted a fox, stalked him, and chased him into a culvert.

Meg isn't much taller than the cemetery markers.

On our way back to Riverbend Bible Church we passed the impressive penitentiary and picked up rotisserie chicken, dill potato salad, and watermelon at the grocery. After eating, we watched a reenactment video of Quantrill's Raid, the children played board games, and we slept again on the hardwood floor or narrow cushioned pews.

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