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Kearny County Historical Society Museum


category : Museums
Kearny County Historical Society Museum Step back in time as history unfolds at the Kearny County Museum on Buffalo Street. Established in 1979, the museum won the Kansas Historical Society's Award of Excellence in 1982.

In 1974, the museum property, one-half city block, was given to the Kearny County Historical Society by Jennie Rose O'Loughlin, daughter of John and Mary O'Loughlin. Jennie's father, John, was the county's first permanent white settler in what was to become Kearny County. He was also the first permanent settler of Southwest Kansas. In 1873 John came to the railroad designated stop of Lakin to establish a store.

The complex consists of the museum building constructed in 1979 and annex, the White House, School House, Santa Fe Depot, Farm Machinery building and a Round Barn, totaling over 20,000 square feet. The Lakin area was an important part of the Santa Fe trail and houses an excellent Santa Fe Trail exhibit. The 1831 Conestoga Wagon is quite impressive.

The Museum was built in 1979. It houses a large reference library, with volumes reaching back as far as 1847. Extensive files on Kearny County history, families, newspapers, county records are housed in the Museum. An extensive collection of indexed photographs, Kansas Historical Society publications, and all newspapers printed in the county are on microfilm.


Admission: Free Admission
Hours: Open Year Round, Tuesday - Friday, 9am - noon and 1-4pm; Sunday: 1pm - 4pm, Appointments welcome.
Address: 101-111 South Buffalo Street
Phone: 620-355-7448
Our Email: kchs1@pld.com
"If you're passing through at a time other than our public hours and you see my white car parked out front just knock on the door, or stop by any downtown business and they will call me." - Patricia Heath, Curator

Come visit us in Lakin, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Lakin City Park

While enjoying your stay in Lakin, stop and relax at Lakin City park. With a swimming pool, basketball facility, and a playground, everyone is sure to be pleased.

Lakin, KS Recreation

Columbian School House

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.

Lakin, KS Historic Schoolhouses

Historic O'Loughlin House

The O'Loughlin house was called, "The Little White House", as it was the largest building in the town and was the center for social gatherings, church services, meetings and housed visiting dignitaries. The White House is the oldest two-story house in Lakin. It was built in 1875

Lakin, KS Museums

Charlie's Ruts

About four miles east of Lakin on highway 50

Lakin, KS Pioneer History

Santa Fe Depot

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'

Lakin, KS Railroad History

Things to do Museums near Lakin, KS