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Douglas County Heritage Grants and Historic Survey Information

Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council Natural & Cultural Grant Program

2019 Natural & Cultural Heritage Grant  Program Information - The 2019 grant application deadlines have passed.
The Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council announces the 2019 Natural & Cultural Grant Program.  Members of the public interested in the conservation of local landmarks and conservation of natural areas within Douglas County are invited to attend the grant information sessions or contact the program coordinator. Project categories include historic structures, agriculture, prairie, woodlands, waterways, habitat restoration/preservation, and Freedom’s Frontier themes such as the Civil War/Pre-Civil War heritage, settlement stories, the enduring struggle for freedom, and pre-settlement history. All projects must take place in Douglas County.

Who may apply? -Non-profit organizations, universities, K-12 schools, or any unit of local government within Douglas County, Kansas. Individuals, families, businesses or out of the county organizations or units of government MUST HAVE a Douglas County partner in order to apply.

Grant Information Sessions - Two grant information sessions will be held at the Lawrence Public Library on Friday, January 4, 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Room C and on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Meeting Room B.  The grant information sessions are free and no advance registration is required. The Lawrence Public Library is located at 707 Vermont Street in Lawrence, Kansas.

Important Dates

  • Interested applicants must meet with the program coordinator before February 26, 2019.

  • Application deadline: March 7, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

2018 Grant Awards & Project Descriptions

1. Applicant: Baker University  

   Project Title: Palmyra Post Office Restoration        

  Award amount:                     $64,710.00         

 Project Description: This urgent project will restore the Palmyra Post Office (listed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places) to a condition that permits accessibility to the public and will save the building. Grant funds will help provide a new foundation, roof, shingles, and windows. As one of only a few remaining Santa Fe Trail-era buildings in this area, the Post Office has historic and cultural value. Preserving it would benefit Douglas County by saving a building that is part of the county’s settlement history. The histories of the Santa Fe Trail and of Territorial Kansas are intertwined. This building is one of only a few, if any, actual physical pieces remaining from those histories. It was located in a town that was a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, and in a Territorial Kansas town that was home to many abolitionist settlers. The building connects these stories of Kansas’ past with the present. The building is located near the Old Castle Museum in Baldwin City on the Baker University campus.   

2. Applicant: Clinton Lake Historical Society

Project Title: The Digitization of the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum 1970s

Oral History and Slide Collection

Award amount: $5,000.00

 Project Description:  The Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum was established to preserve and maintain the histories of the ten communities affected by the construction of Clinton Lake in the 1970s.  The Museum’s founder and former Director, Martha Parker, conducted taped interviews of people in those communities.  She also saved radio broadcasts and recorded county commission meetings whenever the Clinton Lake project was discussed.  There are approximately 75 cassette tapes containing oral histories, public meetings and broadcasts.  There are an additional 30 cassette tapes with oral re-enactments of historical events in those ten communities:

Bloomington, Clinton, Kanwaka, Lone Star, New Belvoir, Old Belvoir, Richland, Sigel, Stull, and Twin Mound.   There are slide negatives to go along with many of the cassettes that provide corroborating documentation as to the information and people contained in the cassettes. There is an urgent need to get this information digitized as the tapes are now becoming fragile. First, Mrs. Parker is a reliable historian, at this time, and can recount information and circumstances contained in these tapes. However, she is almost 90 years old. Second, the tapes were made in the 1970s and are at an age to be at risk of deteriorating.  There is concern that all of that important history will be lost if it is not transferred to a digital medium as soon as possible. This is why we are looking to hire a company to handle the digitization, since they would have the skills to handle time consuming and detailed task.   

  1. Applicant: Douglas County Historical Society

Project Title: Exhibit – Douglas County’s Agricultural Heritage

Award amount: $17,950.00

Project Description: Douglas County Town and Country,” the second section of the Watkins Museum’s third floor core exhibit scheduled for installation, will examine the lifeways of the people of Douglas County from the 1880s through the 1950s.  Drawing extensively on the Douglas County Historical Society’s collection of tools, agricultural equipment, and consumer goods, and utilizing historic photos from across Douglas County, the exhibit will give visitors a look at what life was like for past generations and invite comparisons between how we live now, and what our community is like, with how things were “back then.”  The exhibit comprises three sections:  the first introduces Lawrence and Douglas County in the last decades of the 19th century and the growth of the community following the Civil War; the second explores life in Lawrence, long-time downtown businesses, and how lifestyles changed through economic expansion and technological innovation; the third section examines the role of agriculture in the growth of Douglas County, long-standing family farms, and the importance of agricultural associations and fairs.  Two major interactive elements will explore growth and change along Massachusetts Street and give visitors an opportunity to experience the lives of Douglas County residents through the things they used every day.  

 4. Applicant: Eudora Area Historical Society

Project Title: Improvements to the Eudora Community Museum

Award amount: $27,000.00

Project Description: The Eudora Community Museum has three (3) projects that require immediate attention and action. (Project #1): The largest project that we need to complete soon is to construct a new concrete deck, ramp, and sidewalks at the rear of our property. Currently, the ADA-door on our second story that serves as an outside exit is three feet above the ground. The door has no deck and flimsy temporary stairs. A deck, ramp, and sidewalks would improve the accessibility of the second story. (Project #2): The exterior of rear addition needs to be painted soon, the siding is starting to separate. Caulking and painting would stop the separation and improve the aesthetics. The front of the building requires painting as well; it has been ten years since it was last painted. The paint on the front is starting to peel and fade. (Project #3): Finally, the cement floor on the first story interior requires a better surface. Currently, the first floor has stained cement. We add sealant to the floor often to improve the look. But the sealant wears fast. And every time we seal the floor we have to move artifacts. We would like to install a vinyl floor (that resembles wood) in order to limit the movement of the fragile artifacts, to improve the aesthetics, and restore the look of the first story to its original look (the first story originally had a wood floor).  

  1. Applicant: Friends of the Kaw

Project Title: Protecting the Watershed of Douglas County through History, Education, and Action

Award amount: $77,635

 Project Description: Our project is called “Protecting the Watershed of Douglas County through History, Education and Action”. In order to understand where we are headed, we must first learn about how to restore the beauty and functionality of the watershed. Despite many successes in restoring the Kaw, the most neglected piece of the Kansas River’s ecosystem is the connection between the riparian buffer and the water quality of the river. The riparian buffer is the last line of defense to filter out pollutants. For this project, we plan to do an invasive tree removal and native planting, using history as a guide and educating for the future. The second piece of our connection of residents to the watershed involves hosting community educational paddle trips for residents. These events will include cleaning up trash on the sandbars along the way as well as providing a sandbar lecture about the history of the river in Douglas County. The third piece of our watershed connection is bringing our Kids About Water (KAW) Classes to the county. The KAW Project is a five-lesson water quality issues and actions curriculum that targets students in grades 6-12. Each lesson is aligned with the Kansas Next Generation Science Standards. 
6. Applicant: Lawrence CFA/Sunrise Project

Project Title: Untold Stories: Douglas County Social Movements from 1968-2018

Award amount: $5,000.00

Project Description:

Working with the Sunrise Project (Lawrence Community Food Alliance) as a fiscal sponsor, the

People’s Intercultural Project will research and produce the exhibition, Untold Stories: Douglas County Social Movements from 1968-2018. This will include material never exhibited before from the collections of the Kansas Key Press, C.J. Brune Radical Library and Solidarity Revolutionary Center among others. The exhibition will take place in February 2019 at the Murphy Bromelsick House in Hobbs Park, a significant Lawrence progressive landmark of its own.

Special events associated with the exhibition include lectures by one of the original February Sisters and another by an original member of the Solidarity Center, and a hands-on protest poster-making workshop. The exhibition and all related events will be free and open to the public.


2017 HCC Natural & Cultural Grant Awards

Recipient:                  Lecompton Historical Society
Project Title:             Partial Funding for New Roof for Lane University (Territorial Capital Museum)
Grant Award:           $26,760

Recipient:                  Haskell Indian Nations University Cultural Center and Museum
Project title:              Honoring a Community Legacy-The Story of the 1926 Haskell Stadium and   WWI Memorial Archway Dedication

Grant Award:           $73,194

Recipient:                  University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
Project Title:             Stone Arched Cellars & the Early Historic Settlement of Douglas County
Grant Award:           $55,589

Recipient:                  University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
Project Title:             Identifying Potential Project Areas for the Protection of Natural & Cultural Resources in Douglas County, Kansas
Grant Award:             $104,457

2016 HCC Natural & Cultural Grant Awards

Turnhalle Building - Phase II  




For the purpose of architectural and engineering fees to develop design development documents for the building.

Lecompton Historical Society $26,728.00 Heating and cooling system. Ultra violet window protection for collection preservation. 
The Delaware Tribe Agricultural Heritage Planning Project  $67,775.00 Funding in support of a nine month-long professional planning process that will result in a baseline analysis, master site plan, business plan, and identification of funding for project implementation. Funding for the project will ensure that both prime farmland soils and the Delaware cultural legacy are preserved for future generations.
Clinton Lake Historical Society - Wakarusa River Valley Museum          $8,000.00 Development of a full site plan at the museum property near Bloomington Park on Clinton Lake and a feasibility study for a possible meeting hall on site. 
Douglas County Historical Society- Watkins Museum of History $5,000.00 Funds in support of the development of a Civil Rights Interactive Kiosk.
Douglas County Conservation District - Education Project $8,000.00 Funds in support of the 2016 & 2017 Douglas County Water Festival - bus transportation for local students. 
Friends of the Kaw/Kansas River Project $13,230.00 Funds in support of this natural resource project involving cleanup, restoration of the river and education programs.
Eudora Historical Society $89,000.00 Funds in support of 720 Main Street Second Floor Access.
Total Funding Awarded $247,733.00  

2015 Natural and Cultural Heritage Grant Program 



Grant Award

DCHS-Watkins  Museum

Douglas County Historical Society - 3rd floor


Freedoms Frontier Riverkings Museum

Freedoms Frontier National Heritage Area/River Kings


Santa Fe Trail Clearfield School Project

Santa Fe Trail Historical Society/Clearfield School Desks


St. John's La Yarda Exhibit

La Yarda- St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church- exhibit


City of Lecompton Building Repair

City of Lecompton - New Floor Project Community Bldg.


City of Lawrence - Oak Hill Receiving Vault

City of Lawrence/Oak Hill Cemetery Receiving Vault


Black Jack Battlefield Trust Pearson House

Black Jack Battlefield Trust/Interior Robert Hall Pearson House


2014 HCC Natural & Cultural Grant Awards: 
Target Grants:

Liberty Memorial Central Middle School - Restoration of an original architectural drawing of the building - $1,250
Douglas County Historical Society - Permanent exhibit - Stair Hall - $10,000
Slice of Agriculture Committee - Slice of Life Program - $1,000
Douglas County Conservation District & Delaware Tribe of Indians - Facilitated Conversation regarding possible collaboration on Delaware Tribe of Indians' agricultural land - $8,100
Kansas Historical Foundation - Constitution Hall Window Restoration - $21,500
LeCompton Historical Society - Updating Artifact/Collection Records - $10,000
Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area - Kansas Riverkings: Life on the Kaw Museum Exhibit - $8,000
African American Quilt Museum & Textile Academy - Turkey Red: Interpreting the Life of Douglas County Contraband - $25,000
Monard Watch - Monard Watch Educational Signage - $2,650
Friends of the Kaw - Restoration of the Kaw River between Lawrence and Eudora - $10,000

Major Grant:
University of Kansas Center for Research - A Systematic Inventory for Natural Areas and Habitat in Douglas County - $147,500

Grant Report Forms - Contact the HCC Program Coordinator for the correct Interim, Quarterly, or Final Report Forms at or 785-330-2878.



Natural, Cultural and Historic Surveys

An important initiative of the Heritage Conservation Council is to facilitate a comprehensive county-wide historic survey. Survey is the process of identifying and evaluating a community's historic architectural resources and survey information is necessary to plan for preservation. The survey and inventory will aid the Lawrence/Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Department in the identification of natural, cultural, and historic resources as outlined in the Preservation Plan element of Horizon 2020. The council is implementing a systematic multi-year survey plan. Historic preservation is essentially a local activity. Because of the number of properties aimed to be surveyed, the involvement of area residents is crucial. The project team leaders work actively to involve residents and property owners in determining which properties and natural resources should be surveyed and to solicit information from local historians and property owners.

Public Meeting - Saturday, April 27, 2019 - Historic Building Intensive Survey Meeting - Introduction of the Survey Team and Overview of the Willow Springs Township Intensive Survey Process
Time: 10:30 a.m.   Location: Baldwin City Public Library 
The public is invited to attend this meeting regarding the next steps in the survey process for Willow Springs Township. The meeting is hosted by the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council. Public comment and questions are welcome. Contact the HCC Program Coordinator for more information at 785-330-2878 or

Public Meeting - November 3, 2018 - Historic Building Survey Report for Marion Township (northern section) & Western Portion of Willow Spring Township
Time: 2:30 p.m.  Location: Lone Star Lake Community Building 
The public is invited to attend a meeting regarding the results of the initial survey of the western portion of Willow Springs Township and the northern portion of Marion Township including Lone Star Lake. The meeting is hosted by the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council. Stan Hernly, project consultant, will present the report. Public comment and questions are welcome.

Public Meeting - 2018 - Marion Township (northern section)/ Western Portion of Willow Spring Township 2018 Historic Building Survey - Public Meeting May 19, 2018 10 a.m.
The public is invited to attend a meeting regarding the historic building survey of the western portion of Willow Springs Township and the northern part of Marion Township. The meeting will be held on Saturday, May 19th at 10 a.m. at the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum on Clinton Lake near Bloomington Beach. The survey consultants will be on hand to meet the public and answer questions. This survey is being conducted under the supervision of the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council whose purpose is to conserve the natural and cultural resources of Douglas County.

Report 2011 Historic Resources Survey of Eudora and Kanwaka Townships
For the first phase, the Council identified Eudora and Kanwaka Townships to be surveyed. The survey of Eudora and Kanwaka Townships is an opportunity to document the resources of two rural townships in Douglas County that are undergoing rapid development and change. The survey fieldwork was conducted during the spring and summer of 2012 by preservation historians, Dale Nimz and Susan Ford. Overall, the consultants surveyed approximately 168 properties in Eudora and Kanwaka Townships and inventoried more than 400 buildings, structures, and landscape features.

Report 2012 Historic Resources Survey of Kanwaka and Wakarusa Townships
For the second phase, the Council hired consultant Dale Nimz to complete the historic resources survey of Kanwaka Township and begin the survey of Wakarusa Township focusing on the eastern portion.Overall, approximately 118 properties in Kanwaka and Wakarusa Townships were surveyed and more than 389 buildings, structures, and landscape features were inventoried.

Douglas County Historic Survey Planning Documents

Historic Survey Plan & Survey Reports by Township

Link to Douglas County Townships Map

National Park Service - Link to Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings-

Douglas County, Kansas Special Project Links: