July 20, 2024

OTTAWA — The new Freedom’s Frontier National Historic Heritage area will offer visitors some different views of history, said Franklin County Historical Society’s Deb Barker. Freedom’s Frontier covers a 41-county area in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. In Kansas, Civil War-era senator James Lane is regarded as a hero and his name is used by a city, county and several schools, Barker said. In Missouri, he’s seen as a murderer and thief, she said. Likewise, William Quantrill, of the Lawrence Massacre fame, is execrated in Kansas but regarding much more tolerantly in Missouri, she said. That’s part of the charm of the heritage area, she said. Indeed, the whole concept is unique because it deals with a series of ideas rather than a particular historic or cultural site, she said. Freedom’s Frontier will highlight such topics as the Civil War, the Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails; racial integration and the area’s Indian missions, she said. The National Park Service is reviewing a newly-completed management plan for the area. Barker said that once the park service accepts the Freedom’s Frontier plan, museums, sites and groups will be eligible for money and expert advice to attract more tourists.

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