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ppanoose Area Museum
600 Shawnee Road
Pomona, KS 66076
Visit the “museum on the prairie.” Step into a one room school, visit a 1920 farm kitchen and see pictures of Appanoose, Pomona, Williamsburg, Silkville, and other surrounding communities. The museum has many buffalo and Native American artifacts, patriotic displays and houses a covered wagon replica. Open Sun. 2-4 pm. May 28 – Aug. 28, for special events and group tours. ADMISSION: FREE.
Dietrich Cabin
5th & Main Streets
Ottawa, KS 66067

The Dietrich Cabin, built in 1859, stands today as a tribute to the courageous couple who suffered severe hardships on the Kansas frontier and in honor of the hundreds of early pioneers in Franklin County. Visit the cabin from 1-4 pm. Sundays during the summer, for special events and group tours. ADMISSION: FREE.
Midland Railway
1515 W. High Street
Baldwin City, KS 66006

Local: 913-721-1211
785-594-6982 (Depot) Answered during business hours
The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on a line originally constructed in 1867. The trains depart Baldwin City for 11-mile round trips to Norwood and 22-mile round trips to Ottawa. Travel through scenic Eastern Kansas farmland and woods, across wooden trestles, past historic sites recalling William Clarke Quantrill’s flight following his infamous raid on Lawrence, and through a variety of landscapes offering prairie and wetland wildlife and birds. The excursions are aboard authentically restored locomotives, coaches and cabooses from the Rock Island, Santa Fe, Katy, KCS, NYC, and other prominent railroad lines. Call ahead for departure times/special events. The train runs Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning Memorial Day weekend through October.
Old Depot Museum
135 West Tecumseh
Ottawa, KS 66067
Museum Website
Historical Society Site
[email protected]

The two-story passenger depot built in 1888, today serves as a museum. Exhibits include a model railroad layout; displays tracing the life of famed abolitionist John Brown; Silkville, the utopian community created to raise silkworms; a Victorian parlor, general store, military room and more. Fourth grade classes are welcome to the museum from 9-1 during school months to have class in the one room school house.  Just call the museum to make arrangements.  The museum also features various traveling exhibits. Open Tuesday- Saturday 9am-4pm, and Sunday 1pm-4pm, closed Mondays, for special events and group tours. ADMISSION: Adults $3, Students $1, Preschoolers FREE.

The Old Depot Museum will be closed January & February 2012 but will reopen in March.

Franklin County Courthouse
315 S. Main Street
Ottawa, KS 66067

Regarded as one of the most outstanding works by 19th century architect George P. Washburn, the courthouse is covered with unique and interesting details and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A statue of Justice stands over the west gable and one of the towers is home to a large bell while yet another proudly displays a four-sided clock. Walking inside this building is like stepping back in time. The oak trim, oak staircases, office furniture and encaustic tile in the main floor hallway are all original and remain in excellent condition. The Courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse is unchanged with the exception of a rear balcony added to provide fire access to the third floor. Open 8am-4:30pm Monday through Friday with the exception of federal holidays.

Prairie Spirit Trail State Park
PO Box 71
Garnett, KS 66032-0071
[email protected]

For several years now the bicyclers, hikers, runners, bird watchers and other nature lovers have enjoyed this gem in Eastern Kansas, this 50-mile converted railroad is the longest rail trail in Kansas. Spanning from Ottawa to Iola, bikers and walkers can view wildlife, native prairie, rolling hills and fertile farmland. The trailhead in Ottawa begins at the Old Depot Museum, a restored 1888 Santa Fe Depot. The trail’s hard-packed limestone surface is suitable for foot traffic, bicycles, and wheelchairs. Portions of the trail inside city limits are paved asphalt adorned with ornamental lighting and landscaping. For the safety of trail users, it is routinely patrolled by Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks and local law enforcement. The trail is open during daylight hours, and special permits may be obtained for group night rides or other events.

Trail Permits: A per-person trail permit is required for persons 16 years and older to use the trail outside the city limits of Garnett and Ottawa. Persons using the trail within the city limits of Garnett and Ottawa may do so free of charge. The cities of Garnett and Ottawa maintain the trail with their respective city boundaries. This maintenance is provided in exchange for usage of the trail within those boundaries at no charge.
Self-pay daily permits are $3.50 per day and may be purchased at self-pay stations located at the Ottawa, Princeton, Richmond, Garnett and Welda trailheads.
Annual permits are available for $12.15 can also be purchased any one of the following ways:
At the self-pay stations by filling out the needed information and placing $12.15 in the self-pay envelope.
Purchase at any retail location where Kansas hunting, fishing and state park permits are sold.
Purchase permits via the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks website at:
Purchase by phone by calling 1-800-918-2877 (credit card required).
No permit is required for persons 15 years of age or under.
Restrooms are spaced conveniently along the trail, and picnic areas are located at each trailhead. Camping is prohibited along the trail corridor, but North Lake Park in Garnett, which borders the trail, does allow camping. Equestrians are not permitted. Fishing is allowed only in lakes at Garnett. Hunting and all firearm possession is prohibited along the trail corridor.

Historic Main Street

The commercial Main Street structures were built between 1872 and 1900 of the late Victorian styling with renaissance eclectic and some classical features. The buildings are individualistic but have the same underlying style and character. Their uniqueness lies in the almost unaltered facades and great aesthetic compatibility. This area of Main Street was placed on “The National Register of Historic Places”, on June 29, 1972.

Carnegie Cultural Center
510 S. Main Street
Ottawa, KS 66067

The center was built utilizing a grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1903, which permitted the Construction of a library building. George P. Washburn and Son designed it in the “Free Classical” style. When the library moved to the City Hall building, the Carnegie was vacant for a while. With help from the city and many hours of volunteer work, the Carnegie Building became the Ottawa Community Cultural Center, home for the Ottawa Arts Council and Ottawa Suzuki Strings. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Street Corner History

Eight interactive kiosks show and tell the history of Ottawa. All kiosks are packed with old photos that you can compare to the actual buildings that still stand. You can start anywhere, for each kiosk tells the story of a block. If you park at the Old Depot Museum’s parking lot and start there, you’ll learn about the building’s beginnings and view photos of it from 1888 on. You’ll learn about Santa Fe Annie and the trains that brought news, salesmen, and visitors to town. Further on, you’ll learn about the legend of the Marais des Cygnes River, stories of the major floods, and the river ford that crossed just east of the bridge. At First and Main Streets you’ll learn about the laundry boiler that became airborne and launched itself across the street, killing a passersby. A couple blocks down, the magnificent Franklin County Courthouse fits into the traditional architecture by local architect George P. Washburn. You’ll learn about his other fourteen courthouses–where they are, when they were built, and if they have survived. At the south end of downtown you’ll learn about the schools at Fifth and Main Streets, and the story of the 1880 Tinnon case.

Richmond Museum
119 E. Central, Richmond, KS 66080

The newest museum to the area concentrates on the local history of Richmond, KS. It has a large accumulation of newspapers, pictures, veterans and family albums, and historical pieces. Hours: Saturday & Sunday 1-4 and open by request. Admission: Donation

Veterans Memorial
315 S. Main, Courthouse Lawn, Ottawa
The Franklin County Veterans Memorial was dedicated in November of 1999. It commemorates Franklin County citizens who have perished in wars from World War I to present day.

Flint Hills Nature Trail
The Flint Hills Nature Trail is a 117 mile rail-trail in northeast Kansas. It crosses 7 counties along its east-west course. As the name implies, it crosses the beautiful Flint Hills. This area is one of the last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems in the world. It is home to abundant prairie wildlife species, spectacular views, national historic sites, recreational areas, and good home folks. It is also recognized as a region of cultural importance. This is an equine trail.