Permanent Exhibits

“Trails, Rails and Prairie Tales”
The Permanent Exhibit at the Old Depot Museum

As a visitor circulates around the ground floor of the museum, he or she will be presented with a chronological presentation of Franklin County history from Native American times, through the era of missionaries and pioneer trails, through settlement and into the modern world.

The Permanent Indian Frontier – Franklin County Natives—the Kanza and Osage; Emigrant groups—Sac and Fox, Munsee, Chippewa, Ottawa, Wea, Kaskaskia, Peoria and Piankeshaw.

They Drew Their Swords in Kansas –– John Brown and the Pottawatomie Massacre, the Underground Railroad through Franklin County, Quantrill and the Sack of Lawrence. A 2007 exhibit on the Pottawatomie Massacre was opened with support from the Kansas Humanities Council.

Ottawa, the Queen City — Early day Ottawa with Kalloch and Hutchinson, The Community Connects with the Modern World: bridges, railroads, phones and factories; Ottawa University, the Ottawa Chautauqua Assembly, color characters in early Ottawa, Dad Martin, Etta Semple, Underwood and Underwood, G.P. Washburn.

County Roots — Development of communities along waterways, influence of the railroad right of ways, little towns during their heydays and decline, Silkville, Ransomville, etc.

The Community Confronts the Modern World — flood control, I-35, Wal-Mart Distribution Center.

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