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Ottawa, Kansas

Ottawa, Kansas

Ottawa is the current county seat of Franklin County. The town was named after the Ottawa tribe of Indians, in the heart of whose reservation the town was laid out. Indian ownership prevented settlement until the spring of 1864. Less than 20 years after Ottawa, in its early days gained fame in Kansas, as well as in neighboring states, as home of the Chautauqua Assembly. It was the second largest of its kind, established in 1883, and it brought to the Midwest a cultural program the enriched the lives of thousands of people. The assembly attracted such famous speakers as William Jennings Bryan; President, William McKinley; President, Warren G. Harding; President, William H. Taft and President, Theodore Roosevelt.

Visit the Old Depot Museum. This two story passenger depot was built in 1888 and today serves as a museum.

The Victorian-era mansions and buildings designed by the Famous Kansas Architect, George Washburn, who made his home in Ottawa for nearly 60 years, are truly magnificent architectural gems.

The Ottawa Municipal Auditorium offers a variety of musical and performing events year round. The Ottawa Community Arts Council also offers monthly exhibits featuring local and regional artists. The OCAC provides special classes for children and adults. The Arts Council sells original art works and prints including the "Buttons" drawing by Grandma Layton.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Ottawa City Park

The Ottawa City Park is a beautiful compliment of nature's architecture among the historic works of George P. Washburn in the downtown district. Located at 5th and Main, the park offers a spacious area for strolling, relaxing, or picnics with playground equipment for the children.

Ottawa, KS Parks

Tauy Jones Mansion

Located northeast of Ottawa 2 miles north on U.S. Highway 59 and then east. The home was built in 1862 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones, honored as the"Founder of Ottawa University"

Ottawa, KS Famous Homes

Historic Churches

1st Babtist Church (pictured) - Romanesque Revival Style 4th and Hickory

United Methodist Church - 1903 3

Ottawa, KS Historic Churches

200 Block of Main

The entire 200 block of Main Street in Ottawa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's noted for its Victorian architecture.

Ottawa, KS Historic Downtowns

Franklin County Courthouse

The Franklin County Courthouse was built in 1893 by George P. Washburn, one of the best known 19th century Kansas architects, and is regarded as one of Washburn's most outstanding works. Courthouses were one of Washburn'

Ottawa, KS Historic Courthouses

Things to do near Ottawa, KS

Doodlebug Walking Trail

This is an old railroad bed that was made into a walking trail. It was the track that the Doodlebug Train would take passeng...

Curtis House

View this beautifully historic residence that was home to Charles Curtis. Charles Curtis served as vice president under Herbe...