August 21, 2013.
I don’t normally read the newspaper, but today’s headlines caught my attention.
Realizing that I’d missed the re-enactment on Twitter earlier in the day (#QR1863) of Quantrill’s raid, I decided to finally go on the historic sites scavenger hunt outlined in this flyer I’d picked up at Watkins Community Museum of History a few weeks ago.
1. The Miller Home:
As stated in the pamphlet, this house marked the first point of attack in the raid.
2. Plaque on New Hampshire:
Now the site of a parking garage, in 1863 this was the site of an encampment of recruits that was attacked by the raiders.
3. Eldridge House:
The Eldridge was one of the raiders’ primary targets. It was a headquarters for the Kansas abolitionist/free-state movement. Room 506 has a cornerstone from the original hotel and is reported to be haunted.
4. Griswold House:
This marker is at the entrance of an alley, between Louisiana and Indiana Streets, in a particularly beautiful part of Lawrence. It reads, “Here Griswold, Baker, Thorp, and Trask were shot Aug. 21, 1863.”
5. Bell House:
Until recently, a friend of mine was living in this house. I didn’t realize it was significant to Quantrill’s raid until today, but it’s gorgeous on the inside with a simple design. This was the home of county clerk Captain George W. Bell, who, in 1863, was killed while rushing to the city’s aid.
6. Plaque on Vermont:
On Vermont St. between 7th and 8th. A church stood here at one time, where the bodies of the slain were taken after the raid.
7. Pioneer Cemetery:
Located on the west campus of The University of Kansas, Pioneer Cemetery was the original burial ground of those killed in Quantrill’s raid. Later, most would be moved to the Oak Hill Cemetery.
8. Oak Hill Cemetery:
This monument reads: “Dedicated to the memory of the one hundred and fifty citizens who defenseless fell victims to the inhuman ferocity of border guerrillas led by the infamous Quantrell in his raid upon Lawrence. Aug 21, 1863.”