The Dalton Gang Hideout in Meade, KS was always somewhere I wanted to see, but never thought I would, as it was very out of the way. But last fall I was traveling to west Oklahoma to see family for Thanksgiving, which put Meade just a short jog off our route.
Like usual, I won’t tell you the history of the supposed hideout, as someone else has already written it, I will just tell you about my experience visiting the site. I will say, however, that there has never been any solid proof that the gang used the house, tunnel or barn as a hideout, it’s all purely conjectural, which I feel totally adds to the thrill of the place.
The site consists of the original house, tunnel and barn along with a park area and an old west town facade. The barn has been renovated, with a gift shop on the ground floor and a museum in the loft. The gift shop area is where guests are able to take the trip down the tunnel and into the old Whipple house. For safety reasons, the tunnel has been renovated and properly reinforced. Which is kind of sad to see the original tunnel changed, but the operators could obviously not let so many people down the original tunnel in the haphazard condition it was in.
The trip down the tunnel is still eery and thrilling, though, and leads you to the original Whipple house, which is furnished as it would have been at the time the Whipples lived there, when the Daltons may have used it in their comings and goings.
The grounds and buildings were well kept and maintained and it was an absolute treat being able to finally see this historical site. The Old West facade wasn’t anything too exciting for me, as I have been to many actual recreated old west towns, but it was still fun to stoll down the ‘boardwalk’ and pose for some pictures.
All in all, the Dalton Gang Hideout, while based on conjecture and hearsay, was still a great place to visit and a neat piece of outlaw history. Definitely glad I finally made it there and would recommend it to anyone interested in Old West, frontier, or outlaw history.
What: Dalton Gang Hideout
Who: History buffs
Where: Meade, KS
When: Any time! Open year round Monday – Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 1-5. Although a Spring or Fall visit would be ideal to enjoy the outdoor parts of the attraction.
How: By vehicle. Unless you live in town!