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Historical Sites

Historical Sites in Douglas County, Kansas.

Black Jack Highway Park

Located on US 56 Highway, approximately three miles east of Baldwin City, the Black Jack Highway Park is maintained by the Kansas Department of Transportation to commemorate what many say was one of the first battles of the Civil War that took place nearby in 1856.

An authentic log cabin is situated in the park and contains many antiques from the Santa Fe Trail era. A small footbridge and trail connects the park to the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve, located immediately south, containing evidence of wagon ruts carved into the prairie as part of the Santa Fe Trail.

Chicken Creek Arch Park

The historic Chicken Creek Arch is located ½ mile east and 1 1/4 miles south of the town of Lone Star at 780 E. 850 Road. The arch was built in 1913 by B.F. Metsker and I. Babb at a cost of $170.25. The crossroad drainage structure was placed on the National Register in 1990.

Nearby parking and a handicap-accessible walkway make for easy access to view the structure in its restored state. An observation platform and stairway allow viewing of the arch as well as comparisons with the modern culvert located immediately to the east.

Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve

Located adjacent to and immediately south of the Black Jack Highway Park the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve contains some of the best preserved and managed native prairie in Douglas County, Kansas. The preserve is maintained by the Douglas County Department of Public Works under the direction of Dr. Roger Boyd of Baker University.

The site is well known for containing evidence of the wagon ruts caused by travel along the Santa Fe Trail.

Pearson Memorial Park

This park is situated on E. 2000 Road, one-quarter mile south of US 56 Highway and is said by some to be the actual site of the Battle of Black Jack.

The park contains a sheltered picnic area as well as a plaque containing the names of persons that fought in the battle.

Robinson Park

Robinson Park is located on the north side of 6th Street, between the south ends of the Massachusetts Street and Vermont Street bridges over the Kansas River, in the City of Lawrence. The park commemorates the founding of the City of Lawrence with a plaque containing the names of persons making the journey westward under the auspices of the New England Emigrant Aid Company in 1854.

The small park area overlooks the Kansas River and is maintained by the City of Lawrence with flowerbeds and park benches.

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