The state of Kansas is rich with history, and the Leawood area is no exception. There are many fantastic historical sites in and around Leawood that educate the community and pay tribute to previous generations. Visiting these sites is a great way to learn more about your hometown, the people who made it the way it is today, and what you can do to ensure its future. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Leawood has put together this list of five must-visit historical sites in and around the Leawood area.
Historic Oxford Schoolhouse
Located right here in Leawood is the Historic Oxford Schoolhouse, one of the oldest schoolhouses still standing in Kansas. It was in operation from 1877 until 1955 and served students in first through eighth grades. When you tour this building, you’ll see desks of varying sizes, which accommodated the wide age range of the student population, 19th-century textbooks, and original artifacts. It’s a great place to learn how kids were originally taught in the area, an interesting comparison for your own children in the local school system.
The Historic Oxford Schoolhouse is open for self-guided tours. Open house hours change from season to season. However, it’s free to visit for all.
National WWI Museum and Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Memorial houses a vast collection of artifacts from the Great War and many educational exhibits that walk you through every step of the war, from the early events that led to war and the efforts that ended it.
This site began as a memorial project in 1919, months after the war ended. Residents of Kansas City raised the money needed to build this commemorative structure in just 10 days. Then, in 1921, history was made again when the Allied commanders met here to dedicate the site of a future memorial. The original Liberty Memorial commemorating those lost during WWI was built in 1926, but the structure deteriorated and closed in 1994. But then in 1998, plans were drafted to repair the Memorial and build a museum.
Now, you can come to this important historical site to view uniforms, weapons, portraits and photographs, important war documents, and many more fascinating artifacts. You can also experience history through the immersive VR experience, “War Remains”, to really discover what it was like in the trenches.
Visit the National WWI Museum and Memorial at 2 Memorial Drive in Kansas City, Missouri. You can visit Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, hours change in the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission costs $18 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6 to 18 years old, and free for children under 6 years old. You can pay a little extra to get access to special exhibits, including the Liberty Memorial Tower and the Wylie Gallery.
Shawnee Indian Mission Historical Site
The Shawnee Indian Mission was once a manual training school for Native American children, including the Shawnee and Delaware nations. It was in operation from 1839 to 1862, but the 12-acre property is now a National Historic Landmark that hosts a museum, educational presentations, and Native American cultural events. Inside the mission, you’ll find two floors full of exhibits that explore the history of the mission, showcase artifacts from settlers and Indians, and demonstrate the impact of the mission on native communities.
You can also participate in cultural events hosted by the Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation. They host the Three Springs Market where you can purchase goods and crafts from local artists and Native American artisans. Other events include a historically themed tea party for kids, an annual chili cook-off, and the Fall Festival.
You can visit the Shawnee Indian Mission on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $5 for adults and $1 for children. It’s located at 3403 W. 53rd St. in Fairway, Kansas.
Alexander Majors Historic Museum
The Alexander Majors Historic Museum is the former home of local businessman Alexander Majors and the headquarters for his freighting company, a very successful business that helped fuel the economy in Kansas City, Missouri, during the latter half of the 1800s and into the 1900s. The house now has artifacts from that time period as well as educational displays that teach you about Majors’ family, business, and what life was like for wealthy citizens of the area during the late 19th century.
Your family can take a self-guided tour for $5 per person on Sundays at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Or, you can opt for a guided tour of the house and museum for $8 per adult and $5 per child. Self-guided tours are on Thursday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids under 5 years old get in for free. You’ll find this museum at 8201 State Line Road in Kansas City, Missouri.
Grinter Place State Historic Site
Grinter Place State Historic Site is a two-story brick home that was built in 1857. The building and estate overlook the Kansas River, which was the perfect location for Moses Grinter’s ferry business and trading post. The home has since been restored and is maintained to resemble its original state. The rooms are furnished with antiques from the era as well as some of the family’s personal belongings, including family Bibles and photographs. You can learn about the family’s life, including about Annie Grinter’s Lenape Indian heritage, and the early development of Eastern Kansas.
The Grinter Place Historic Site is located at 1420 S. 78th St. in Kansas City, Kansas. You can visit Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between mid-April and late October. It costs $6 for adults and $3 for children aged 5 to 17 years old.
So there you have it, five must-visit historical sites around Leawood, Kansas. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite historical sites to visit? If so, contact us today. We’ll be sure to add it to our list!