The stockade that now stands on US Highway 160 is a replica of the original that was erected at another location in Medicine Lodge in 1874. The Kansas State Guard was organized to defend the locals from Indian raids.
Within the walls of this stockade are a number of items of historical interest shown in the following Must See Activity Tips.
The cabin is furnished and open for viewing. In many areas on the Kansas prairie, early settlers were not so lucky to have sufficient quantities of wood for building cabins such as this, and had to settle for huts made of sod. Medicine Lodge and Barber County is blessed with several rivers and creeks along whose banks were a number of trees. I have read stories of my own ancestors coming here from 100 miles away to obtain lumber.
Carry Nation called Medicine Lodge home. It was here that the internationally-known abolitionist began her saloon-smashing crusade against "demon rum." She was scorned and hated by many, hailed a hero by some as she terrified bar owners around the country, spending many a night in a jail cell as a result.
It is interesting to note that her first husband became an alchoholic, and her second - a pastor - grew tired of her "excesses" and divorced her.
There is a LOT OF STUFF in this little museum. True, much of it is poorly marked and not professionally displayed (common in small town museums), but there are so many interesting items you will finding yourself spending more time browsing than you might have expected.
You can expect to see lots of items relating to farming, ranching, and small town living. Places like this increasingly make me feel old as I recognize items that were used during my childhood.
Among the items belonging to Mrs. Nation are her writing desk, cupboard, bed, valise, hat, purse, and one of the hatchet pins she sold to pay her considerable fines.
Then there is this old hatchet. One of the college-age young ladies providing information insinuated that it might be Carry's own, then snickered. Guess it wasn't hers.
The home became a museum in 1950. It showcases a number of items belonging to Carry, including the antique pump organ seen in this photo.
Entrance to this historical landmark is gained through the adjoining Medine Lodge Stockade.
Strung along the highway in central Medicine Lodge you will find the Carry Nation Home and Stockade Museum.
The 'stockade' is a timber fortress built in the style of the original settlement. On the grounds here are a local history museum, an old pioneer house and a gift shop.
Next door is the home of Carry Nation, a famous firebrand who took her hatchet to several taverns in Kansas in the name of Prohibition. The home has furniture of the period plus a small display of her personal belongings.
Like most other small town history museums, there are hundreds of artefacts to paw through and a visit here will turn up many dozens of fascinating objects. One of my favourites was the jail's bath tub...apparently a prisoner died not long after taking a bath in it, probably because it was the first bath he had ever taken!
Uncle Bob Smith's 1877 four room, two story log cabin has been moved to within the walls of the stockade. It is authentically furnished.
This old jail, now located inside the stockade, was basically a steel cage in which up to a dozen men would be crowded in squalid conditions.