A bill that would make the Quindaro townsite in Kansas City, Kansas, into a national historic landmark has advanced.
A hearing was held today on Rep. Kevin Yoder’s bill, the Quindaro Townsite National Historic Landmark Act.
Marvin S. Robinson II, a native of the Quindaro area who is working to preserve the townsite, testified before the committee.
Quindaro is one of the most significant archaeological sites in this area, and landmark status is expected to elevate and preserve the townsite in a way that is consistent with its historical and cultural importance, according to Rep. Yoder’s office.
“The Third District is home to one of the most significant, yet under-appreciated, historic sites in the state: the ruins of the town of Quindaro,” Rep. Yoder said in a news release. “Quindaro holds a unique three-fold significance as a Bleeding Kansas site, a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the site of an enduring African American community founded by freed slaves. Very few places in the country can lay claim to such a combination. In spite of the years of neglect, it is not too late to elevate Quindaro to the status and attention it deserves. That is why I have introduced H.R. 5613, the Quindaro Townsite National Historic Landmark Act.
“Although Quindaro has lacked the official recognition and investment it deserves, it has remained intact thanks to the efforts of a small group of dedicated individuals from the community,” Rep. Yoder’s statement continued. “One of those key individuals is Marvin Robinson, who has spent the last 31 years as a leader in the efforts to preserve Quindaro. His years of dedication and study of Quindaro made him the perfect person to come to Congress and tell the nation why this site is worthy of National Historic Landmark designation. I want to thank Marvin for all of his hard work to preserve Quindaro and for coming to Washington, D.C., to share his testimony with the committee today.”
The town of Quindaro was founded in 1857 as a safe haven for anti-slavery activists and an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Representative Yoder’s bill, H.R. 5613 the Quindaro Townsite National Historic Landmark Act, would make Quindaro a National Historic Landmark, bringing new opportunities for investment and preservation of the site. The bill has five bipartisan cosponsors, including the lead Democratic cosponsor, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Missouri).
The bill is in the Natural Resources Committee, where there may be amendments. After that, a vote may be taken in the committee to send it to the House floor.