Last summer I went to the Warped Tour in Kansas City. I was on my own, as no one else was able to attend, not even my usual travel companion, my wife, Erin. Since I was lone-wolfing it and staying the night at a friend’s house in Lawrence, KS I felt it was the perfect time to take in the Quantrill’s Raid of Lawrence Self Guided Tour.
Any Old West history buff worth his weight in beaver pelts knows about Bleeding Kansas and Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and luckily for any of us interested in such things, there is still evidence and historic sites from that era all around Lawrence. The self guided tour gives you the meat and potatoes of what’s left.
The first stop on the tour is the Robert H Miller Home & Farm, where Quantrill and his raiders first arrived at dawn. The current owner of the home was not around but his daughter was there to regale me with tales of the history of the home and farm. Not only did it play a part in the Lawrence Massacre, but it was also a part of the underground railroad. She even took me to the cellar and showed me where people would hide. It was fascinating, eery and somehow thrilling to witness such a historic space.
It was kind of strange visiting the farm, as it was obviously someone’s residence, but the fellow’s daughter was welcoming and let me look around and take pictures. Besides being historical, it was just a beautiful farm.
My next stop was South Park, Lawrence’s oldest park, which was used as a staging site for Quantrill’s forces.
The next couple stops on the tour were kind of hard to pick out. I wandered around the blocks looking at the map on my phone and trying to pick out what I was supposed to be seeing. I made it to about marker 7 on the map, scoping out what appeared to be bullet holes in the Eldridge Hotel before I ran out of time and met up with the friends I was staying with.
My tip to you if you are wanting to do this tour is to print out the map and details so that you’re not wandering around, half confused, looking at your phone, like I did. I would like to finish the tour someday, and while I am sad that I missed half of it, I don’t feel too bad consider all of my Lawrence friends have never done it and they live there!
To check out all the stuff I missed, take a look at this blog, they did a much better job at documenting than I did. (In my defense, I wasn’t doing this site yet, cut me some slack!)