The Conestoga Wagons were used primarily to haul freight on the Santa Fe Trail and other freight trails. They could handle two tons of goods. The wagon in our displayed in the Museum Comples bears the... Conestoga Wagon
About four miles east of Lakin on highway 50 is a very good view of wagon ruts. Five sets of Santa Fe Trail ruts are easily made out. At the foot of the ruts, to the west, is a parking area with a sta... Charlie's Ruts
Chouteau's Island was the largest island of timber on the Arkansas River in this area. In the spring of 1816, Auguste Pierre Chouteau was returning to Missouri with several other fur trappers when the... Chouteau's Island
This pass is one of the most interesting histories in the state of Kansas. Kearny County was fortunate in the creation of the sandhills, with the only natural pass through the low lying hills and sand... Bear Creek Pass
Bluff station was southeast of Indian Mound, on the east side of a sand creek which circles north and east of the Mound and flowed into the Arkansas River. Some sources think it may have been built by... Bluff Station
The Aubrey Route, which left the Santa Fe Trail on the Arkansas River at Chouteau's Island and Indian Mound, west of Lakin, crossed Kearny and Grant Counties, and joined the Cimarron Branch at a point... Aubey Route
The Commercial Hotel built in 1883 and run by Mrs. W.P. Loucks, had a good trade. Mrs. Loucks, the genial hostess, was the pioneer hotel keeper of Lakin. She came here in 1879 when Lakin was a way station on the Santa Fe and opened an eating house for the railroad employees.
The Columbian Schoolhouse, built in 1893, was named after the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. Later shortened to Columbia, the school conducted its last class approximately 1945. This one room school was moved to the museum site from 15 miles north of Lakin and restored in 1984.
The Kearny County Historical Society has purchased the old, 12-sided barn on the west edge of Lakin. It was restored at its present site, and then moved to a foundation at the Museum Complex in 2001.
The barn was built in 1909
Lakin originated as one of the early stops on the Santa Fe Railroad from Dodge City to Colorado in 1872. This depot, constructed in 1876, replaced the original boxcar depot. The depot was moved to the museum site and restored in 1984.
Mr. James Thomas, grandson of the O'