Atchison County's Museum

Our mission: to preserve and share Atchison County history

Check the links below to see the many different ways we work to accomplish that mission - from the inside the Museum to all across the county. And don't forget to visit the Historic Sites link below to find out about some of the other things we do and places you should know about.

What's NEW in the Museum

The Bob Staley Collection is a unique eclectic mix of objects this one-of-a-kind auctioneer gathered over the years. Some items are fantastic pieces of Atchison County History - others are common items from another time and a few are truly WHAT-IZ-ITS! See how many you can identify - in Atchison County's Museum this Christmas season and through January 2019. Or visit us on Facebook - where we are sharing a Staley What-Iz-It one at a time.

Lewis & Clark and the Kanza

Discover the original home of the Kanza Indians in the state that bears their name and the location of the first celebration of Independence Day in the West. Independence Creek: Lewis & Clark Historic Site - the July 4, 1804 campsite of the Lewis & Clark expedition covers 13.5 acres of Native Grasses & Wildflowers and a re-created Kanza Earthlodge connected by a hiking/biking trail to the Atchison Riverfront. Explore the full story of Lewis & Clark in Kansas and the first Capital of the Kanza.

World's Smallest Presidential Library

The David Rice Atchison World's Smallest "unofficial" Presidential Library is a special exhibit in our museum where you make the decisions. Our County and the City of Atchison are named for this 24-hour-President and you should know why he was a key player in the early days of the Kansas Territory and the era of Bleeding Kansas. The exhibit gives you two sides to questions and you decide...was David Rice Atchison a peacemaker or a border ruffian? Was he the Real 12th President or just the Senator next in line? Visit the OTHER Presidential Library in Kansas.


We have some people we'd like to introduce you to: Jesse Stone, Amelia Earhart, Joe Tinker, Pardee Butler, John Cameron Swayze, Fred Stein...and the list continues. What do these notables have in common? They are all from Atchison County, Kansas. Come explore, touch and hear the stories that helped shape the West.

Education Programs

Explore the treasures that breathe life into the stories of our corner of the world. No matter the age of your students, home school or family group there will be something we can supply to bring history to life. All Atchison County Schools and Educational groups may book tours or programs for NO CHARGE - it's part of our mission to serve Atchison County youth. We have special tours for pre-K, K-12, college and adult groups. Click here for teacher resources, info on special tours, or joining our monthly Pioneer Club for 4th-7th grade students.

Speakers Bureau

Need a program for your group or organization's next meeting? Want a tour of the museum that is different than the usual? Whatever you are looking for we will have a program to fit you needs or we will work with you to create something that covers the historical topic you wish to explore. Click HERE to contact us to discuss what you need until this webpage is complete on our new website.

The Collection

Our collection is varied and diverse - just like the region and historical events we are charged with preserving. As we compile more content for our new and expanded website and as we progress through moving our existing catalog and old - non-computerized- artifact catalogues to a new system - we will share information here. Also check our Research links as we continue to add content to

The Historical Society

YOUR Atchison County Historical Society has been working to preserve and share the history of Atchison County Kansas for 48 years. Check in here to find out more about the organization: our Mission, Vision, and Goals for the Future. All aboard here to see how we got started.

About the Atchison County Historical Society

Established in 1967, the first museum was opened in 1968. The Society moved into the current museum, the 1880 Santa Fe Depot, in 1989. We host quarterly evening adult education programs and sponsor K-12 programming, including the monthly Pioneer Club for 4th-7th grade students.

The Atchison County Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in the State of Kansas.

More About Us
Join / Donate

About Independence Creek: Lewis & Clark Historic Site

Open Sunrise to Sunset year round. Located 5 miles north of Atchison's Main Street this site may be reached by car or by hiking/biking trail. The 13.5 acre site has reestablished the prairie as seen by the Corps of Discovery and encompasses a stretch of Independence Creek referred to by Captain William Clark in his July 4, 1804 journal entry. A pedestrian bridge completes the 5-mile trail link to the Atchison Riverfront. A re-creation of a 1724-1804 era Kanza Indian Earthlodge interprets the Kanza habitation of this location.

Physical location:

19917 314th Road, Atchison, KS

Explore more about Independence Creek

Museum Hours & Admission

Summer Hours:

9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday

noon to 5 pm Sundays

Winter Hours: (November - March)

9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday

10 am to 4 pm Saturdays

noon to 4 pm Sundays (closed Jan & Feb)

Open to the public 350 days a year - closed: New Years, Sundays in January and February, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas & New Year's Eve.

Museum admission is by donation - requested donations $2-adults, $1-children, $1.50-seniors, $5-family.

Contact us for Group Tours booking, rates and details.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (913) 367 6238
  • Email:
  • Address:
    Atchison County Historical Society
  • P.O. Box 201
  • 200 S. 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot
    Atchison, KS 66002