Housed in an 1887 Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad on the property of the former Kansas State Penitentiary, the museum interprets the history of Lansing and the State Penitentiary.


Wed - Thur 10 am - 3 pm
Fri - Sat 10 am - 5 pm

Contact Information

115 E. Kansas Avenue
Lansing, KS 66043
Phone: 913-250-0203

Location Type


Site Info


The Lansing Depot is a historically accurate restoration of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe depot built in lansing, originally located across from the intersection of Helen and Main St. The building is the only original public/commercial building standing, other than a small, turn-of-the-century bank, which remains in the once-prosperous downtown area. Built in 1887, the Lansing Depot was used by the railway through the middle of the 20th century. By 1989, the demolition of the Depot seemed unavoidable. Some enterprising Lansing citizens formed the Lansing Historical Society, whose main goal was to save the Depot from destruction. The Depot was given to the Lansing Historical Society with the stipulation that the Depot must be moved from its original site. The Lansing Correctional Facility offered a location on its grounds and the Depot has resided there since 1992.

The entrance to the Lansing Historical Museum has some railroad artifacts, and there are two small galleries. The west gallery is used for changing exhibits and was filled with quilts the first time I visited. The east gallery has some very interesting material about the prison and a couple of items from a mine was located in Lansing, Kansas. The balance is filled with material from local schools and businesses.

Although the Lansing Historical Museum has reduced the amount of prison memorabilia that is on exhibit, more information is available if you ask the helpful staff. A separate group hopes to someday build a Kansas Regional Prisons Museum on the same grounds.

When visiting the Lansing Historical Museum, be sure to go up the street a block to view the penitentiary where criminals such as Emmet Dalton, Rev. Tom Bird and the murderers of "In Cold Blood" were incarcerated. Also visit the nearby Mount Muncie Cemetery where some of those convicts were buried after being executed.

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