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Ottawa in Franklin County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Old Depot Museum

Historic Ottawa Tour Stop 1

 
 
Old Depot Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., July 17, 2011
1. Old Depot Museum Marker
Inscription.  
The Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston was the first railroad built south of the transcontinental Union Pacific which passed through Lawrence. Building the 30 miles of track to Ottawa in 1867-8 was difficult. Veterans of the UP construction, including Chinese laborers, struggled with terrible weather during the fall of 1867.

The LL&G went into receivership in 1873. The Kansas City, Lawrence and Southern Kansas Railroad emerged from LL&G's failure. The new rail line operated throughout the 1880s and built the Ottawa depot in 1888. By that time, the Kansas City, Lawrence and Southern Kansas was leasing much of its line to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. By 1895, the Santa Fe Railroad purchased the line, and in 1962, donated the depot building to the Franklin County Historical Society for use as a museum.

In 1995, the AT&SF merged with the Burlington Northern to become the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

[Photo captions read]
The LL&G Railroad locomotive "Ottawa" is ready to carry rails and ties across a temporary bridge over the Kansas River in Lawrence. Image taken by Alexander Gardner, a famous
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Civil War photographer.

A free pass for the Honorable D.M. Valentine, Associate Justice of Kansas Supreme Court, highlights the LL&G's reputation for corruption - it was nicknamed the "Lazy, Lousy and Greasy." Ottawa town father Isaac Kalloch, a one time president of the LL&G, used his influence to locate the railroad "shops" in Ottawa.

George P. Washburn, architect of the Ottawa depot and fifteen county courthouses. He began his career by supervising the construction of Union depots in Kansas City, Atchison, Denver and Peoria, Illinois.

Sam Campbell, first AT&SF agent at the Ottawa depot.

From the LL&G through the SK and the AF&SF, railroad shops were located in Ottawa, just northwest of the depot. Railroad cars were manufactured and locomotives were serviced with a roundhouse and turntable.
 
Erected by Franklin County Historical Society and the Franklin County Convention & Tourism Bureau.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
 
Location. 38° 37.217′ N, 95° 16.201′ W. Marker is in Ottawa, Kansas, in Franklin
Old Depot Museum and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., July 17, 2011
2. Old Depot Museum and Marker
County. Marker is on Tecumseh Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker and Old Depot Museum are about 400 feet west of the intersection of Tecumseh and Main Streets. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 135 West Tecumseh Street, Ottawa KS 66067, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Old Depot Museum (a few steps from this marker); 1951 Marais des Cygnes Flood High-Water Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Marais de Cygnes River (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Company K, 20th Regiment Kansas Volunteers (about 700 feet away); Main Street, 200 Block South (approx. 0.3 miles away); Shepherd & McQuesten Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pickrell Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Down Town Ottawa Historic District (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ottawa.
 
Also see . . .
1. Old Depot Museum. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. 1947 Henderson Article, "The Building of the First Kansas Railroad South of the Kaw River". (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Prairie Spirit Rail-Trail. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Old Santa Fe Railroad Depot National Register Nomination. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Old Depot Museum image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., July 17, 2011
3. Old Depot Museum
Ad on Old Depot Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, late 1800s
4. Ad on Old Depot Museum Marker
Sam Campbell Photo on Old Depot Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, undated
5. Sam Campbell Photo on Old Depot Museum Marker
Railyard Photo on Old Depot Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, undated
6. Railyard Photo on Old Depot Museum Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 626 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Apr. 24, 2024