The Old Depot Museum is operated by the Franklin County Historical Society. This incredible, two story, limestone depot was built in 1888 as a depot for the Kansas City, Lawrence, and Southern Kansas Railway, which soon became a branch of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It was designed by local architect George P. Washburn, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The railroad donated the building to the Franklin County Historical Society in 1962 and it opened to the public as a museum in 1963.
The museum displays walk you through local history from the many Indian tribes that once lived here to the development of communities, the battle over slavery that lead to “Bleeding Kansas”. You’ll also learn about the development of the railroads, the National Chautauqua Assembly’s and even unique stories about such local historic sites as Silkville, a Utopian community created to raise silkworms which became the “Silk-producing Capital of the World”.
Exhibits include a model railroad layout; displays tracing the life of famed abolitionist John Brown; a Victorian parlor, general store, military room and more.