Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site is n. of US 56 at jct. Mission Rd. and W. 53rd St. A manual labor training school was established here in 1839 on Shawnee land—although its doors were open to 23 different tribes—and operated until 1862. The orientation video “Crossroads of Culture” recounts the mission's history and its role in westward expansion as well as such divisive eras as “Bleeding Kansas,” when the Kansas territory became a battleground between pro-slavery and antislavery factions, and the Civil War.
The East, West and North buildings are the three remaining structures of the original 16 that once stood on the site's more than 2,000 acres. The East Building has two floors of exhibits that bring the mission's stories to life, and the North Building has displays that examine Native American relocation in Kansas. The West Building is closed to the public due to extensive, ongoing restoration work.