Crossroads to Freedom

Travel back in time and explore the rich history of Topeka. Explore the stories and the people who have made the city what it is today and how Topeka has repeatedly found itself at the crossroads to many types of freedoms...Topeka Blazing Trails since 1854.

Crossroads to Freedom landing tile     African American History tile

military tile     Topeka history and bleeding Kansas tile

Historic Sites


From a full-sized Cheyenne tipi, a fully stocked covered wagon ready for a trip on the Oregon Trail and a 1950s diner, the Kansas Museum of History charts the history of Kansas from past to present. At the center of the museum’s diverse and impressive exhibits, stands the oldest surviving locomotive from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, made in 1880. During its long history, the locomotive was named after Holliday, who founded the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) in 1859. Visitors to the museum will enjoy the exhibits interactive features. Be sure to “hop aboard” during your next visit! Whether you need to escape into nature or would like to burn off some calories, be sure to check out the Kansas History Museum’s trails. Located around the perimeter of the museum, the trails wind through 2.5 miles of creek banks, native grassland and woodlands. Signs are displayed throughout to denote the cultural and natural history of the area.


Listed on the National and State Register of Historical Places, the Charles Curtis House Museum is located at 1101 SW Topeka Boulevard in Historic Holliday Park. This landmark was once the home of Charles Curtis, the first U.S. Vice President of Native American heritage. Curtis’ stately brick mansion was originally built in 1878 for Joseph C. Wilson, one of Topeka’s first mayors. The architecture style has been described as “Eclectic Italianate.” Tour this iconic home and marvel at the unique architecture, intricate decor and memorabilia outlining Curtis’ political career and life in Topeka.

Charles Curtis House Museum - Interior | Topeka, KS


Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Union Pacific Railroad Passenger Depot, the Great Overland Station is a testament to Topeka’s strong historical and cultural ties to the railroad. The station was completed in 1927 and was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood. Its Free Classical Revival design can be seen in the building’s use of terra cotta in its pavilion center. While no longer a working station, the museum and education center bring Topeka’s railroad heritage to life through special exhibits, costumed docents and numerous children’s activities. While visiting this historic location, be sure to join a group tour, take the kids by “Choo Choo Junction,” and visit the Railroad Park and Welda Depot.

Great Overland Station Drone