This college was founded around 1863, and the Benedictine Monks studied here and stayed in solitude. The parish church was first started for construction in 1865, but not completed until 1905. This is an active college campus that maybe has 2,000 students
The Courthouse is only one of 13 designed by George Washburn for region courthouses that is of stone. It was built in 1896-97 for $85,000 and is 11 feet long and 67 feet wide. It is still an active courthouse today, and inside is like an everyday administrative center-not a lot of ornate interior. It all was renovated in 1960's, but still retained a look of 1920's inside
This home is available for touring, and the only one with consistent tours. W.W. Hetherington built the home in 1882. He was part of founding Exchange National Bank, an upscale bank and he even went to Europe to loan out money. They owned the home for 80 years, and then it sold a few times before Cloud & Evah Cray, rich people, bought it in 1978. They wanted only the antiques inside. In 1992, the Historical Society got the home as a gift.
It is 25 rooms, and a lot of Victorian display inside. The home has two towers of 3 stories that replicated what Hetherington's saw in Scotland trips and wanted the same style. A carriage house in the rear is renovated and also is a gift shop. The tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours and very informative.
Open May-October and Mon-St 10-4 and Sunday 10-4 Admittance is $5.
This home is very ornate inside and the wood decor is immensely elaborate because the owner of the home also owned a wood and lumber company. Throughout there are parquet floors and large bannister stair railings. In addition, many stained glass windows are featured in the atrium. Furnishings are intact from the last resident of the Howell family that built the home in 1885. They gave the home to the Art District/Historical Society in 1962.
Only open on Wednesdays from 10-5, and Saturdays 1-5. Inside today is a gallery of art pieces by a local artist, Cher Ulrich (pricey). Entry is free but donations accepted.
There are so many fine homes along the driving route, and it is worth stopping at each for a picture and to read of the history for them. There is a number system with a brief description of each home history. Plan a route and follow the streets.
McInteer home-became wealthy in 1870-80's from making harnesses for wagons. Home circa 1890
Harwi house-hardware merchant to supply wagon trains-home 1882-for sale $70,000 now
R.A. Park home-Col Osborn-1880's and got wealth from building railroad lines and operated some
Drury-Pennell-completed in 1894 after 30 years of other owners-five fireplaces and elegant interiors
B.P. WAggoner-build home in 1885 and was politician and railroad attorney to negotiate deals
Benedictine Nuns founded this area for a retreat in 1863, and it grew since. This was a real treat to be taken through the halls of the old buildings, and the Benedictine nuns proudly show off the magnificence of them. Maybe not all people are able to get a personal guided tour, but hopefully you could. It was informative and interesting.
The chapel and monastery were built in 1900, and the St. Cecilia Hall became part of the complex in 1877. The history of Cecilia is one of John Price building a huge mansion and the intent was to offer it in a lottery. Price was a lawyer/politician and con man. He kept the funds from the lottery and never completed the mansion. He went to prison, and the nuns got the place for $20,000. They had to tear down 2/3 of the place because upkeep was too much.
There are now 160 nuns on the premises, and during their life career, most go out to teach the religion in schools or missionary treks.
This church has had a history since 1900. The exterior of of limestone, and the interior was renovated many times and upgraded. The pews are from 1940, and hand carved for decorative style. Benedictine nuns use this as the place of daily prayers
The map helps in taking the driving tour so you can take pics of the magnificent homes.
The town was used as rendevous point for the French in 1700's. In 1854 pro slavery Senator, David Atchison founded the town and in 1860 the railroad came through, and about this time Benedictine monks started the Abbey and college.
The magnificent homes from mostly late 1800's/early 1900's are the sites to spend time here. They have around 20 preserved homes and structures.
This little stream of water is not much to look at, but is more of interest for its place in history. It was here that the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on the night of July 4, 1804, and celebrated the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, signaling the American colonists' break from Britain. The name of this creek: July 4, 1804 Creek.
The International Forest of Friendship is memorial to the world's history of aviation and space travel, a gift to the USA on its bicentennial in 1976 from the City of Atchison and the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of women pilots. Amelia Earhart was the first president of that group.
The forest includes trees representing 35 countries, each of the 50 states, plaques honoring internationally recognized flyers, and a special memorial area dedicated to astronauts who lost their lives in space exploration. These are located around The Moon Tree, grown from a seed taken to the moon and back during the Apollo 14 mission.
The Internation Forest of Friendship is a nice place to take a relaxing evening stroll.
In a typical midwestern US county historical museum, you will find hundreds, maybe thousands of artifacts and curios jammed into a small space without fore-planning or adequate signage. The people who have designed the Atchison County Historical Museum have NOT fallen into that trap. The displays here are relevant, educational, and interesting. It is one of the few such museums that bothers to inform us that aboriginal people were in this area as long ago as 10 - 12,000 years, and displays artifacts from that time. Exhibits trace the development of the Atchison vicinity through early exploration, the city's flourishing days as an important river town, and to the present. No admission charged, but donation jar available.
The birthplace museum is open to public tours. A number of the rooms, such as the front parlor shown in the accompanying photo, have been faithfully restored in recent years. Several of the rooms contain museum-like displays rather than period furnishings. Fortunately, we were not on a tight schedule and could take advantage of the interesting exhibits. I recommend the same for other visitors. Amelia Earhart was a trend-setter, not just in aviation, but in the roles of women in business and society.
Addtional Earhart home photos included in travelogue
If possible, stop by this center before beginning your tour of the city. The local visitor's bureau has put together a very nice center with local maps and and pamphlets, and very helpful attendants. Located in the old Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Depot, it also houses the Atchison County Historical Museum and a large number of old railway cars and locomotives. Those interested in taking the trolley tour of town can purchase tickets and board here, as well.
The first floor of this striking home, built in 1887, is preserved as its wealthy owners left it - magnificently decorated. The second floor is home to an art gallery specializing in works by midwestern US artists. Check schedule before visiting; usually open on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, but we visited on a Monday.
Visit the birthplace museum of Amelia Earhart. On my second visit to this site, in July of 2004, I discovered that a great deal of restoration had taken place in recent years. Several rooms have been used as museum rooms with some interesting exhibits, several are beautifully appointed as they would have been when Amelia lived here with here grandfather, Judge Alfred Otis, one of Atchison's most prominent early residents.
Another change from my previous visit: the guided tour has been replaced by a handout describing the rooms.