Schools' Field Trips:
Open PDF flyerFall SCHS Tours for schools

Sage Inn, Dover
capitol construction
old Topeka Library, capitol grounds
lily pad, Reinich Rose Garden, Gage Park
Governor Arthur Capper
Chief Abraham Burnett
sculpture, Kansas Museum of History

in-quote [graphic]A lot of people grew up
here and are interested in what
went on in the past. The past should be made interesting. There's still plenty of material that hasn't yet been written.out-quote [graphic]
John W. Ripley

We welcome your comments!

SCHS Student HistoriansJoin Shawnee County Historical Society

SCHS Student Historians

Join The Ritchie House

SCHS Student Historians
Join SCHS Student Historians

Consider joining
Topeka History Geeks
a free Facebook site for
individuals who love the city of Topeka and treasure her history.

2011 SCHS Bulletin
The 2011 SCHS Bulletin #85 is The Capital's Storied Capitols, 1856-1886. Editors were Douglass W. Wallace, Jeanne Christie Mithen, and Chris Meinhardt. Copies are $29.99 at the Kansas Museum of History Gift Shop. 1/19/2012

Site hosted by
Blue Skyways, Kansas State Library

"Suprises await those who
take a chance on Topeka

"--insights of a visitor to Kansas. Read the article, which includes SCHS's John Ritchie House.

The Civil War Roundtable of Eastern Kansas meets the last Thursday of each month at the Cox Communication Heritage Education Center, 1118 SE Madison, Topeka.
Lincoln speaks at Cox Hertiage Education Center

   Meetings of the CWRT are free and open to the public. Membership is $15 annually and pays the fees/expenses of speakers. Past presenters have included Wiley Sword, Michael Burlingame, and the Pulitzer-nominated author, Fred Chiaventone.

Civil War Sesquicentennial
1861-1864 | 2011-2014
A Civil War TimelineNYTimes



Join Us   Lighting Freedom's Pathway; Building Heritage Culture

Shawnee County Historical Society, Topeka and Shawnee County, Kansas
About the Society  
Focus on History
Focus on Preservation
Educational Initiative

Topeka and Shawnee
County, Kansas
, possess a
fascinating history. It's a story of building a town amid territorial strife...laying out a railroad empire to the American Southwest...fighting the elements of drought and grasshoppers to keep the family homestead...of good times under the Big Tent and the no-so-good times of local boy Bennie Dickson as Public Enemy No. 1.

water fountain, now in Holliday ParkThis is your story, whether you are a native or a newcomer or once lived in this area of Northeast Kansas. Join the Society and share with others who enjoy learning how our community came to be what
it is today.

Current SCHS newsletter in full color
March 2014 New release
SCHS Newsletter On-line only:


Shawnee County Historical Society logo
Topeka & Shawnee County, Kansas

Topeka Landmarks Commission's
Most Endangered list envisioned

See our Preservation page for details and important links. Make you voice heard before input deadline of May 8.

Lakewood Middle School students came from Salina to visit the Kansas Capitol, Ritchie House and Brown v. Board NHS. Watch a video of the trip, provided by The Salina Journal.

Celebrity Pancake Feed
Sat., Apr. 26, 2014
fundraising for
Topeka's Combat Air Museum
Details are on their flyer...
Combat Air Museum Pancake Feed

Education Committee reports: SCHS is partnering with PBS's American Experience and for their abolitionist project and documentary. The John/Mary Jane Ritchie story, taking part in the Underground Railroad.
See Abolitionist Map of America.PBS's American Experience Abolitionists Map


The history of the
Ritchie House
is mentioned in regard to Topeka history, the Westboro Baptist Church and the Rainbow House: on the
Rainbow Hub blog, 6/7/2013

Want to "experience" history as you tour the Ritchie House? Add "John Ritchie: Radical of Radicals" to your group tour.
   This "first person" interpretation of John Ritchie by George Bernheimer, lets you "meet" the man and hear his story of helping make Kansas a Free State, and assisting freedom seekers as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
George Bernheimer as John Ritchie    Make arrangements for this addition to your group tour, which is available at no charge, through the Ritchie House. Allow an additional 50 minutes for your tour time. Additional information available at