Public access area in neighborhood - please use during daylight hours only. Permission obtained by Wyandotte County Parks. Congrats to FTF ET42!!
The Underground Railroad and geocaching are a perfect fit. We want geocachers to follow the route of freedom seeking slaves who traveled the secret trail and found refuge with Station Masters as they made their way north. Gary Jenkins and I have combined our talents at historical research and geocaching to create a cache series along this clandestine "underground railroad" path.
Quindaro was founded in the 1850s by settlers sent by the New England Emigrant Aid Society. They found the Wyandot Nation already living in this area. The newly arrived abolitionists hoped to secure Kansas as a free territory. Abelard Guthrie, credited as the founder who purchased land for the settlement, named it after his wife Quindaro (meaning "bundle of sticks" or "strength through numbers") Nancy Guthrie. She was a member of the Wyandot and had persuaded them to sell land to her husband.
At a point six miles above the mouth of the Kansas river, on Wyandot Indian land, they found a fine natural rock ledge where the river ran along the bank six to twelve feet deep, making a convenient landing. Plenty of wood and rock were at hand for building purposes and fertile land was adjacent.
The Abolitionists started construction in January 1857, and the town soon contained numerous stone houses and starts of several businesses. Its sawmill was the largest in Kansas. The townsite was near the river while most residences were higher on the bluff.
Methodist missionary, John M. Walden founded a Free-Soil paper called Quindaro Chindowan. The name Chindowan was a Wyandot word for "leader". Clarina Nichols, friend of Susan B. Anthony and fellow crusader for the rights of women and children, was a writer for the Chindowan. Clarina used her home as an Underground Railroad Station and was a Conductor. She helped many Freedom Seekers north to Nebraska.
Due to economic pressures that afflicted much of Kansas, the commercial townsite declined. Later arriving African-American residents settled in the upper town on the bluff. The economy declined because of over-speculation in Kansas, and in 1862 the legislature withdrew the town charter, putting the town company out of business. Difficulties in reaching the interior from below the bluff hampered commerce, and changes after the war reduced the need for the port. In addition, the topography was difficult, surrounding Wyandot land limited expansion, and problems with land titles inhibited growth. After being abandoned, the early lower commercial townsite became overgrown, with some areas covered by earth falling from the bluffs. In the early 20th century, all of the townsite was incorporated into Kansas City, Kansas.