Attractions and Information
Parks & Recreation
City of Ottawa- Bark Park
400 N. Locust St, Ottawa
Located in the northwest corner of Forest Park, in Ottawa Kansas. The park is completely fenced with a small dog area and large dog area, along with water, tables, and benches.
Disc Golf Course
Kanza Park, 13th and Main Streets, Ottawa
An inexpensive alternative to regular golf is waiting for you! This 18-hole course, mostly 3 par, is for beginners and intermediate players. Innova discs, maps, and score cards are available at the Ottawa Recreation Commission Office (705 W. 15th St, Ottawa).
Eisenhower State park
29810 S. Fairlawn Road, Osage City
Eisenhower State Park is in Osage County on the north shore of Melvern Lake. Eisenhower is 1,785 acres of rolling hills with 18 miles of trails, camping, playground, beach, horse shoe pits, sand volleyball court, Frisbee disk golf, boat slip rentals, and basketball court for your family gatherings. Equestrians can explore 18 miles of horse trails and stay in equestrian campsites with corrals.
Flint Hills Nature Trail
When complete, the Flint Hills Nature Trail will be the longest rail trail in Kansas and seventh longest in the nation, spanning 117 miles. The trail runs east/west through part of Franklin County, as well as 6 other counties. The Flint Hills represent one of of the last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems in the world. It is home to abundant prairie plant and wildlife species, spectacular views, national historic sites, and a diverse set of recreational areas. The trail connects with the 51 mile Prairie Spirit Rail Trail in Ottawa and the 38 mile Landon Nature Trail west of Pomona.
Forest Park Pool
405 S. Locust St, Ottawa
Open May-August, the Forest Park Pool is available for pool parties and offers swimming lessons for groups or individuals.
Great Life Golf
1001 E. Logan St, Ottawa
Great Life Golf is a quaint 9 hole, 6,087 year, par 71 golf course. The 5 sets of tees offer a challenge for golfers of all levels. Members and guests can enjoy recreation, social activity, and daily specials in the bar.
The Gun Guys Indoor Shooting Range
412 S. Main St, Ottawa
The 5 lane indoor shooting range uses the latest in shooting range technology. With a 25 yard distance and automatic retrieval system, it is easy to practice at any range from 3-25 yards.
Ottawa Recreation Commission
705 W. 15th St, Ottawa
The ORC is responsible for the recreational programming throughout the community. It provides youth and adult athletic leagues, operates the Don Woodward Community Center, Goppert Building, and Forest Park Pool.
222 E. Second St, Ottawa
The Rink is a roller skating park open on the weekends. It is also available for birthdays and other private parties.
KOFO Home & Garden Show
Join the local radio station to see the latest in home and garden.
Annual All-Corvette Car Show
The annual All-Corvette Show in Ottawa is open to any Corvette of any year in any condition. There is no admission or registration fees, although donations are given to the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter.
Flea, Junk, & Trunk
Have a fun day pickin' in Ottawa! Vendors will have unique antiques, vintage and primitive items at bargain prices.
Relay for Life
This annual relay for cancer research for the cure begins on Friday night at dusk and ends Saturday morning.
Optimist Youth Day & Duck Race
The Optimist Youth Day and Duck run is put on by the Ottawa Optimist Club. The day of kids events is free.
Suzuki Institute "Sound Encounters"
The Ottawa Suzuki Strings hosts several events in conjunction with its youth camp. Free concerts are open to the public.
Williamsburg Jayhawker Days
Celebrate with live country music, a street dance, hog roast, food vendors, camel rides, kids activities, and more.
Pomona Summer in the Park
Enjoy volleyball, basketball, and softball tournaments, kiddie tractor pulls, dancing, music, kids activities, and more.
Celebrate the Fourth of July with the annual fireworks show at Forest Park.
Richmond Free Fair
Richmond hosts its annual fair with 4-H animal judging, music, entertainment, and more.
Franklin County Fair & Rodeo
Held in Just at the fairgrounds in Ottawa, this fair hosts a rodeo, music, demolition derby, 4-H animal judging, barbecue carnival, and more. The fair will celebrate 150 years in 2015 with special activities planned to commemorate its rich history in Franklin County.
Ottawa Municipal Airport Fly-In
Come see static displays of airplanes, as well as equipment from the Ottawa fire and police departments!
Lane Agricultural Fair
This fair hosts summer fun with 4-H animal judging, music, live entertainment, parade, and more.
Wellsville Car Show
See the classic cruisers and new cars as they line the street to cruise the bricks in downtown Wellsville. Event is always the last Friday in August.
Sunflower Piece Makers Quilt Show
This Event showcases more than 100 quilts, both new and antique. An auction of mini quilts raises money for nonprofits. The show is the second Saturday in September.
Power of the Past Antique engine & Tractor Show
Held the second full weekend in September, this year's show will feature orphans and lesser known tractors and engines. There are activities for kids, a daily parade of tractors, demonstrations, flea market, and craft vendors.
Ol' Marais River Run Car Show
Join over 2,000 cars at shady Forest Park during the third full weekend in September. The Saturday night cruise on Main Street is a highlight for many.
Join the fun with basketball tournaments, entertainment, kids zone, petting zoo, craft vendors, car show, and more!
Indian Artifact & Arrowhead Show
(785) 665-7576 or (785) 255-4438
Bring your own artifacts and see those on display at the Appanoose Area Museum, 600 Shawnee Rd, Pomona, Ks. Held the last Sunday in September from 2-4 pm. Event is free and open to the public.
Ottawa Main Street Association Outdoor Vintage Flea Market
Vendors will have antiques and vintage and primitive items at bargain prices.
Rush the Rails
2nd annual Rush the Rails event. The Flint Hills Nature Trail (FHNT) is a converted rails to trails corridor. Rush the Rails is a celebration of the wonderful outdoor resource. Join us on bike or on foot as we traverse from Osawatomie to Council Grove, Ks, celebrating each community along the way. Visit www.rusththerails.com from information or to register.
Ladies Night Out Event
Have you ever wondered what businesses on Main Street, Ottawa have to offer for purchase? Then Ladies Night Out is for you! This event draws over 500 ladies to Main Street where you will enjoy refreshments, door prizes, and shopping.
Ol' Marais Chili Cook Off
Come taste chili and see the pumpkin patch with all its fun!
Pome on the Range Fall Festival
This event features apple picking, hay rides, kids fun and more.
Maple Leaf Festival
held in nearby Baldwin City, the Maple Leaf Festival fills 2 days with craft and food vendors, entertainment, a parade, and more. Always the third full weekend in October.
Veterans Day Celebration
Celebrate with a parade, re-enactments, and a field of flags.
Home Holidays Craft Show
Shop more than 100 booths of handmade items and crafts! Ottawa Middle School, 1230 S. Ash, Ottawa.
Memory Lane Light Display
Visit the Christmas tree farm and view lighted displays. Open Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
Mayor's Tree Lighting
Join us in Haley Park, 2nd & Main in Ottawa as the mayor flips the switch to turn on the Christmas tree and downtown lights. Enjoy entertainment, kids crafts and a picture with Santa.
(785) 665-7576 or (785) 255-4438
Craft and Vendor Show at the Appanoose Area Museum, 600 Shawnee Rd, Pomona, Ks from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Held the 1st Saturday in December.
The Bethlehem Story
Discover the telling of the Christmas tale of Jesus' birth with actors and live animals.
Many communities in and around Franklin County have parades and other activities to celebrate the holidays!
4553 Ohio Road, Wellsville
(785) 242-6250 www.dunnslanding.com
Dunn's Landing has been in the Dunn family through four generations since it was purchased by Duanna Dunn in 1907. Dunn's Landing is owned and operated by Robin Dunn, great-granddaughter of Duanna. Robin took the reins of the 1,000-acre working farm in 1993. Since then, she has continued farming the land and has worked continuously to ensure that Dunn's Landing remains true to its historical roots. This beautiful working farm, which has a horse and a carriage, serves as a venue for many weddings, receptions, and parties.
Franklin County Quilt Block Tour
Franklin County Visitor Information Center
2011 E. Logan St., Ottawa
The Franklin County Quilt Block Tour began in 2011 and now has more than 41 quilt blocks hanging in every corner of Franklin County. The project allows visitors and residents to gain a better understanding of the agriculture in the area by placing colorful quilt block markers on area farms. A complete listing of blocks can be found online and at the Visitor Information Center. Quilt block merchandise also is available for purchase. Some blocks are replications of treasured family quilt designs, while others are selected from new designs. Many of the designs reflect the product produced on the farm, while others reflect an Irish, American Indian, or Swedish heritage.
New Horizon Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center
1526 Vermont Road, Rantoul
this not-for-profit, 501 c3, ranch uses the power of the animal-human bond to provide equine assisted activities and therapies for those individuals who face physical and cognitive challenges, as well as those who experience emotional, learning, and behavioral difficulties and at-risk youth. The community supports this center with donations and volunteer assistance. Contact the center to see how you can partner with NHR to change lives.
Littlejohn's Sherwood Farm
513 Ohio Road, Richmond
Come see this small family fruit farm featuring its own homemade certified kitchen jams, jellies and syrups in a large variety of flavors. Spring is busy with a crop of asparagus, and in the summer come and pick your own blackberries and peaches. The farm is also home to many annuals and perennials, including lush mums in the fall.
Ottawa Farmers Market
2008 S. Princeton St,. Ottawa
Open 4-6pm Wednesday and 8am- noon Saturday May through October. This is Franklin County's for fresh produce, elk meat, flowers, baked goods, and more. In the fall, enjoy a selection of apples, pumpkins, corn, and straw décor items. Also featured are locally handmade items.
2710 Vermont Rd, Rantoul
The farm offers a bountiful assortment of pumpkins in the fall and a tree farm for the holidays. The pumpkin patch can be reached by hay wagon, where you can pick out your own pumpkin. Activities include a hay bale, maze, bounce house, big tube slides, and more. The pumpkin patch is open late September through Halloween. In the winter, pick out your own tree at the Memory Lane Christmas Tree Farm. The Memory Lane Light Display began in 1992 and has grown each year with additional lights and displays. The tree farm is open Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
Pome on the Range Orchard and Winery
2050 Idaho Road, Williamsburg
(785) 746-5492 www.pomeontherange.com
The orchard and winery offer many seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with a line of 20 wines locally produced. In the summer, 13 varieties of peaches are available, and 15 varieties of apples are available in the fall. Enjoy the annual Fall Festival and pick your own apples and pumpkins after a wagon ride and other great family fun festivities. For large groups or special tours, call for a reservation.
Buck-U Micro Distillery
937 N Bennett Road, Ottawa
Using access to local farms, proprietors strive to be a grain-to-glass distillery that uses farmer's rye, sweet corn, grains, yeast, fruits, and other agricultural goods to make a wide selection of refined flavors.
Wellsville Farmer's Market
Saddle Club Park- 10th Street, Wellsville
Every Saturday morning June-September 8 a.m.-noon
Camp Chippewa & Retreat Center
2577 Idaho Road, Ottawa
(785) 242-6797 www.campchippewa.org
Camp Chippewa has a thriving horseback riding ministry. Wranglers are CHA Certified to help ensure you have the best experience possible at the barn!
Flynt Hylls Gypsy Horses
3019 Pawnee Road, Ottawa
(785) 241-1148 www.flynthyllsgypsy.net
Flynt Hylls Gypsy Horses continue to be committed to breeding a true, proper and TRADITIONAL cob or vanner (as they are more commonly known in the US). You won't find "the latest fad or fashion horse" on our farm, just true to type tradition. Meet the horses and the family of Flynt Hylls Gypsy Horses. Learn about the breed and what makes them so special!
Franklin County is rich with agriculture, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairies, and ranch operations. The locations' hours and offerings will vary throughout the year, but even a drive through the county by these scenic locations is worth the trip.
A brochure at the Visitor Information Center lists the cemeteries in Franklin County, which vary in size from small to very large. A large reference binder can be found at the VIC listing in detail many of the names registered at the cemeteries.
Four Corners Tour
The Franklin County Historical Society and VIC have four self-driving tours available covering the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast corners of the county. The tour covers historical events and many important sites.
George Washburn Historical Structures
This tour contains more than 28 of George Washburn's houses, businesses, and other public structures. The booklet includes the addresses and photos from years past and today, along with a summary of the history on the location.
Franklin County Heritage Homes Tour
This tour takes you by more than 40 historical homes in Franklin County. They include many George Washburn homes but also many unique homes that are added every year. The homes are compiled by a local organization, the Franklin County Heritage Homes.
Franklin County Quilt Block Tours
the first organized quilt block project in Kansas, these quilts cover every corner of the county. There are more than 35 blocks hanging on barns and structures.
Freedom's Frontier Heritage Tour
This new self-guided tour highlights the sites that kicked off the Civil War. The tour begins in Ottawa at the Old Depot Museum and stops at the Blackjack Battlefield near Baldwin City. It then follows the trail up near Lawrence to visit the Freedom Frontier headquarters at Carnegie Hall. Lastly, it heads south to Osawatomie, where the John Brown museum is located.
Native and Emigrant Tribes
Once the lands of the Kanza and Osage, Franklin County was home to more reservations for relocated tribes than any other Kansas county. Bands of Ottawas, Chippewas, Peorias, Piankeshas, Kaskaskias, Munsees, Weas, Pottawatomies, and Shawnees were removed to Franklin County in the mid-1800s. Most were relocated to Oklahoma by 1870. Three cemeteries, Ottawa University and the "Buffalo Woman" sculpture in front of the county courthouse pay tribute to Franklin County's earliest residents.
In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska established "popular sovereignty" and allowed the residents of the territory to vote its land free or pro-slavery. Champions for both sides rushed to settle Kansas in hopes of swaying its allegiance. in 1856, John Brown and a band of supporters swept down to Pottawatomie Creek near present-day Lane, pulled five men and boys out of their cabins in the middle of the night and killed them. Now nothing more than a cemetery, the ghost town of Berea was a community of abolitionists involved in the Underground Railroad.
Road Trip: learn more about John Brown and the Border Wars at Black Jack Battlefield (near Baldwin City) and the John Brown Museum State Historic Site in Osawatomie.
Franklin County was already home to numerous tribes before Easterners were encouraged to settle the region. Abolitionists, pro-slavers, and new immigrants made their way to the county in its early years. Both the California Fort Scott Trail and a spur of the Santa Fe Trail passed through Franklin County. Waves of German, Czech, Scandinavian, and French immigrants as well as freed slaves and, later, Mexican immigrants made Franklin County home. The 1859 Dietrich Cabin in Ottawa's City Park commemorates the experience of early settlers in Franklin County.
Westward expansion meant railroad expansion. The Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Galveston chugged into Ottawa in 1868, connecting Ottawa to thousands of other communities. The LL&G line would eventually be acquired by the Santa Fe, which made the 1888 depot (now the Old Depot Museum) a division headquarters. The Missouri Pacific Line expanded transportation options east and west. Both railroad lines have been converted to trails. Explore both the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Flint Hills Trail by foot or bicycle. FHNT even welcomes homes.
Road Trip: Want to experience the magic of the rails first hand? Head to Baldwin City for a short ride on the Midland Railway or a leisurely dinner on the Kansas Belle.
Franklin County is the hoe of George Washburn (1847-1922), an architect who designed public buildings and private homes all over Kansas. Many examples of his work can be found in Franklin County, including the Courthouse, the Old Depot Museum, Ottawa University's Administration Building, and several local houses. Ottawa's Historic Main Street features blocks of Victorian era structures that house busy shops at street level and apartments on the upper floors. Tour the county with a Franklin County Heritage Homes guide to discover the area's distinguished historic structures.
Road trip: The Anderson County Court House and the Miami County Courthouse were also designed by George Washburn.
In 1869, Ernest Valeton de Boissiere established the utopian communal society of Silkville. The 2,400- acre ranch initially produced silk, but it eventually switched to dairy and other agricultural pursuits. Although the community is gone, several of the original structures still stand southwest of Willamsburg.
Between 1883 and 1914, the Chautaqua Assembly brought distinguished speakers like Teddy Roosevelt and Susan B. Anthony to Ottawa's Forest Park, where thousands came for new ideas, spiritual inspiration, and education.
Old Depot Museum
135 West Tecumseh, Ottawa
(785) 242-1250 www.olddepotmuseum.org
House in an 1888 depot, the flagship museum of the Franklin County Historical Society includes exhibits on local industry, farm life, town life, native and emigrant tribes, the Pottawatomie Massacre, and the HO- scale model railroad, plus temporary exhibits throughout the year. FFNHA Star Site.
City Park, 5th & Main, Ottawa
Built by Catherine and Jacob Dietrich and originally located in Southwest Franklin County, this fully furnished 1859 cabin commemorates the experiences of early Franklin County settlers. FFNHA Star Site.
Franklin County Records and Research Center
1124 West 7th Street Terrace, Ottawa
(785) 835- 6598 www.olddepotmuseum.org
The Records and Research Center houses and extensive collection of 60,000 artifacts, archives, photographs, and other historical documents. It's the go-to place fro Franklin County research.
Richmond Community Museum
119 Central Avenue, Richmond
Housed in a former lumberyard, the museum is dedicated to the history of Richmond and surrounding area, including local businesses, schools, and the Underground Railroad and churches.
Appanoose Area Museum
600 Shawnee Road, Pomona
(785) 665- 7576
Housed in 1919 Appanoose School, this museum focuses on the communities of northwest Franklin County, including Greenwood, Centropolis, Appanoose, and Pomona.
Williamsburg Community Museum
309 South East Street, Williamsburg
(785) 746- 8830
The museum includes historical educational artifacts and explores the area's coal mining history.
Wellsville Historical Society
517 South Main, Suite 100, Wellsville
This museum is dedicated to the history of Wellsville, the hometown of country singer Chely Wright.
Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area
947 New Hampshire Street, Lawrence
(785) 856-5300 freedomsfrontier.org
FFNHA connects the stories of eastern Kansas and wester Missouri by offering the many perspectives leading up to the Civil War and beyond. Discover museums and historic sites on both sides of the Kansas- Missouri border.