The Trading Post Museum is located in the Trading
Post ghost town, 4 miles north of Pleasenton, Kansas. The museum
includes exhibits devoted to mid 19th Century history, the Marais
des Cygnes Massacre and the Civil War Battle
of Mine Creek. Trading Post is the oldest existing settlement in
Kansas and was listed as "establishment de Choteau" on the 1825 Vandermaelen
map that is on display in the museum.
Trading Post is near the site of the Marais de Cygne Massacre,
which occurred on May 19, 1858. There is a memorial to those killed and
wounded in the massacre at the adjacent Trading Post Cemetery. The Marais
des Cygnes Massacre was one of the last significant acts of violence in
Bleeding Kansas prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War. Proslavery
men from Missouri killed five free state men and wounded five others in
a ravine near the Marais de Cygne River, 3 miles northeast of Trading Post.
Trading Post was also where Union troops fired on Confederate
troops on October 25, 1864 in what become the Battle of Mine Creek several
miles farther south. That battle was the only major Civil War battle fought
on Kansas soil.
The small museum is packed with items in a manner that
reminds me of an out of the way antique shop. I think some people would
be through with the museum in a few minutes, while others could spend several
hours exploring the corners and discovering items which interested them.
The Trading Post Historical Society is a great resource
for visitors wanting to learn the history of this part of Bleeding Kansas.
The Trading Post Museum exhibits Indian flint and clothing,
early weapons including a Bowie knife, bullets from the Civil War Battle
of Mine Creek, and wide variety of early pioneer tools & household
Trading Post Museum is open from April 1 through November
1 from 10AM - 4PM on Wednesday - Saturday. The museum may be visited at
other times by appointment.