Quindaro Townsite project to receive technical assistance from National Park Service

A view from the Quindaro Overlook at the Quindaro Ruins in northeast Kansas City, Kansas. It is the site of an abandoned pre-Civil War town. (File photo by Mary Rupert)

by Mary Rupert

The Quindaro Townsite National Commemorative Site in Kansas City, Kansas, received a boost on Wednesday with the announcement that technical assistance would be provided by the National Park Service.

The Quindaro Townsite is a pre-Civil War town on the Missouri River in northeast Wyandotte County that was home to abolitionists, workers and shopkeepers, and was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Jim Ogle, executive director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, said the technical assistance will provide National Park Service staff to work with different groups on various facets of the Quindaro Townsite project.

This may include working with those interested in the development of a visitors’ center, to archaeological digs, to developing trails, to putting a price tag on projects and finding out what it would take to build trails, Ogle said.

They also could work to engage a community that may not want to attend meetings to make sure they are included.

“We have a lot of community stakeholders who have a lot of different ideas and dreams about what can be accomplished, not only in the footprint of the national commemorative site, but in the area immediately surrounding it,” Ogle said.

Starting with the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance office of the National Park Service, staff will be able to draw on and bring into play resources and participants to move the Quindaro project forward, according to Ogle.

The RTCA staff will help with planning and holding workshops and forums to gain public participation in the plans for the site and trails.

He said National Park Service staff has already been working with groups of stakeholders in an effort to delineate and organize priorities for this project.

“That process is moving forward with representatives of about 65 different organizations who have decided to participate,” Ogle said. “It isn’t a closed room,” he added. Anyone who wants to participate may contact him to be included. His email address is jogle@freedomsfrontier.org, and his phone number is  785-856-3635. 

The technical assistance started Oct. 1 and will continue through Sept. 30, 2020, he said, with options to continue the effort.

Ogle said Freedom’s Frontier may use the park service’s technical assistance program, which is an in-kind match, as a way to seek additional grant support.

“Getting in-kind matches is the next best thing to having cash in your pocket already,” he said.

Recently there was an effort to raise funds to fix the roof of the Old Quindaro Museum, which will probably need considerably more money to stabilize the structure, he said.

If, for example, (in a hypothetical example) they wanted to raise a half-million dollars to stabilize the Vernon Multi-Purpose Center as a visitors’ center, help stabilize the Old Quindaro Museum and make the AME church nearby visitor friendly, they could go to a major funder and ask for donations, he said.

The funder would probably ask what other resources they have, and the technical assistance from the Park Service will be part of the list they give them, he said.

Ogle said he hopes they can get some donations from major corporations and philanthropic partners, and there are significant ones in the Kansas City metropolitan area that they need to show a plan to, and show that there is momentum in the project, which would make it more feasible for them to join the effort.

Many projects now have several sources of funding, for example, some funds from the state, some from the local government and some from private donations, he added.

The grant announcement on Wednesday contained support from U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids.

3 thoughts on “Quindaro Townsite project to receive technical assistance from National Park Service”

  1. Thank you to our United States Senator The Honorable Pat Roberts, his family and especially his most blessed Senatorial Staff both in Kansas and the Washington, D.C. offices – for not just the assistance with the Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program through the National Park Service – but, for helping the regular ordinary people with efforts to protect the Quindaro Ruins way back as far as the late 1980s we were trying to figure out how and what to do – to stop a now already approved and defunct toxic waste dump.
    Senator Roberts now, was a Southeastern Kansas U.S. Representative and got a a letter of endorsement along, with former U.S. Senators Nancy Kassebaum and the Icon Robert Dole: as well as our former and late U.S. Representative Mrs. Jan Meyers.
    We are so fortunate and blessed to have leadership of visionary capacity like Senator Pat Roberts in official authorized roles of decision makers, every state, region, community ought have a Senator Pat Roberts they can call on- who listens and understands the “least of them.”
    God’s continued blessings to our U.S. Senator Roberts as we journey forward to preserve and restore the largest archeological Underground Railroad in all of North America and the United States of America with the Quindaro Townsite also known as: The Pompeii of Kansas.
    Appreciation and gratitude into the ages of time; generations of American citizens, yet unborn will have an opportunity to study, learn and adore the geographical genius of the mid-1800s New England Emigrant Aid Society, French Canadian Wyandotte Indian Tribe, Women’s Suffrage Movement investments and sacrifices to help Fugitive African Enslaved liberty seekers water-marks of freedom – well into the future.
    Senator Roberts and his entire staff and our other former and current Congressional staffs are saluted as we begin the journeys of a 21st century legacy of restoration and preservation of our ancestral roles of once Enslaved African Fugitives into Union Army soldiers, co-carving our beloved nation right alongside New England European Abolitionists, with both Delaware, Shawnee and Wyandotte Indian Tribes.
    It just doesn’t get any better, much appreciation to the Wyandotte Daily as well – for their many, many years of covering and reporting about the complexities regarding one of the newest national commemorative sites in our country.
    And to each person and organization not mentioned – “an equal thank you to each, every, any and all of you.”
    Marvin S. Robinson II
    Quindaro Ruins / Underground Railroad – Exercise 2020

  2. You don’t want to forget Kevin Yoder, he did a lot in getting Quindaro townsite off the drawing board.

    1. Former Congressman Kevin Yoder and his staff’s assistance in both his Kansas office and Washington, D.C. were critically brilliant – and priceless with their visionary inclusion regarding the legislation at the federal level. Former Congressman Yoder, his wife, and staff were and remain permanent gifts towards formal restoration and preservation.
      During the recent 400 years of African American History Commission of the U.S. National Park Service Congressman Yoder and the 435 votes he garnered in the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2018 efforts and news clippings from the internet: helped in the 2019’s “400 years in Hampton, Virginia at the Fort Monroe National Historic Monument” at the Commemorations Ceremony during the 22 August 2019 events.”
      Kevin Yoder’s help is embedded in the Legacy Project of the Quindaro Townsite – new National Commemorative Site official designation, he was so kind as to come to the official Dedication Ceremony back on 23 April 2019 and was accompanied by Mrs. Yoder: and address those in attendance.
      Having our current U.S. Congresswoman The Honorable Sharice Davids, on the same platform and both addressing the official Dedication Ceremony along with Missouri U.S. Congressman The Honorable Emanuel Cleaver: with our U.S. Senator The Honorable Pat Roberts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator, the Kansas Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, our Kansas City, Wyandotte County Kansas Mayor The Honorable David Alvey and a Master of Ceremony U.S. Federal District Court Judge D. Benton:
      was a moment euphoric – ecstasy: almost like a Twilight Zone episode, that had never been written; people have tried since 08 May 1921, about 98 years to get this juncture; currently we need more help to make sure that the archeological foundations stabilization becomes the central focus – a variety of newer people are coming up with all sorts of different points of focus and unfortunately the historic preservation / restoration goals of the Quindaro Ruins themselves are being side tracked to utterly ridiculous issues, like signs and trails and wetlands, new construction – that clearly are opposite of the urgent need to just get the foundations of the archeological site prioritized.
      People say they want to help: but they’re throwing all sorts of obstacles and sidebars in front of the stabilization of the fragile crumbling deteriorating neglected foundations of the largest archeological Underground Railroad in all of North America …. Prayers are needed more now, than ever because the distraction of divisive: diversionary folks have arrived: but the same God that helped to get us, to this point – is and are the same prayers and Faith, required right now – and more than ever.
      (Also the presence of the Wyandotte Nation of Kansas and a liaison from Western University Association of the A.M.E. Church Fifth Episcopal District also participated on the platform, back on the 23 April 2019 Dedication Ceremony).
      Appreciation to the Wyandotte Daily – all of Kansas City and the entire United States of America. Sometimes, it’s difficult to name and list each person: it’s never intentional, but when that happens, please accept the apology from this side of the screen

      Marvin S. Robinson II
      Quindaro Ruins / Underground Railroad- Exercise 2020

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