About AtchisonIndependence Park, on the Atchison riverfront, marks where the Meriwether Lewis and William Clark expedition arrived on July 4, 1804. Five miles to the north lies Independence Creek, so named by Clark to commemorate the first Independence Day celebrated west of the Mississippi River.
Among the city's founders years after Lewis and Clark's travels were Benedictine monks, who established an abbey on the north bluffs, and the Benedictine Sisters, who started a convent. Atchison is known for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, but before the railroad a steady stream of wagon and river traffic fed the infant town.
A marker at the Atchison courthouse commemorates a speech that Abraham Lincoln gave in 1859 and later delivered in the Cooper Union in New York City. The address brought Lincoln the recognition that resulted in his presidential nomination.
Atchison is the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, and monuments to the aviator can be seen at the downtown pedestrian mall, the International Forest of Friendship and Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport, 3 miles west. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace overlooks the Missouri River. In July the city hosts the Amelia Earhart Festival , which features aerobatic performances, food, arts and crafts, games and a fireworks show.
The International Forest of Friendship honors aviation and aerospace pioneers. It features trees representing the 50 states, U.S. territories and 40 foreign countries. A “moon tree” grown from a sycamore seed taken to the moon on Apollo 14 marks a memorial dedicated to the ill-fated Apollo and Challenger crews; a monument near the tree honors the Columbia crew. Memory Lane winds through the forest and offers tributes to Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, the Wright Brothers and others; phone (913) 367-1419.
The campus of Benedictine College, on the bluffs of the Missouri River, offers excellent views. Of interest near the campus are St. Benedict's Abbey, which is modeled after Benedictine monasteries of the Middle Ages, and the Abbey Chapel, which has 28 minor altars in its crypt.
Nearby Warnock Lake features swimming, fishing, camping and picnic facilities. Just 3.5 miles north and 2 miles west of town on SR 7 to 318th Street is Atchison State Fishing Lake, which also offers camping.
Visitor Centers Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce 200 S. 10th St. Atchison, KS 66002. Phone:(913)367-2427 or (800)234-1854
Things to Do Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum
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