Explore the abolitionist, Underground Railroad, and community history of the Clinton Lake region.


May-Sept: Sat-Sun 1-5 pm or by appointment. Free admission.

Contact Information

716 N 1190 Rd
Lawrence, KS 66047
Phone: 785-783-4420

Location Type

Natural Area
National Register of Historic Places

Site Info

Group Tours
Research Library
Wheel Chair Accessible

Ten communities in the Wakarusa River Valley were submerged underwater in the 1970s after the U.S. Corps of Engineers built the Clinton Lake Dam. This museum was created through local residents’ efforts, led by Martha Parker. The intention was to preserve the history, family records and artifacts of the area. Among the 10 communities affected, was Bloomington, known for its racially integrated village that dated back to the Border War era. It was settled by anti-slavery settlers and free blacks.

The museum serves two missions: to preserve the memory of the lost communities and to honor the families who risked all by taking part in housing and transporting slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad.


Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum 2018 Exhibits - Download (656 KB)
Voices from the Valley Oral History Project - Download (808 KB)

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