Since 1975, the Watkins Museum of History, housed in the 1888 Watkins Land Mortgage and National Bank Building, has provided educational resources and activities, programs and public events, and changing exhibits that explore the heritage of Douglas County and connect the past with issues that affect our communities today. The Watkins Museum is operated by the Douglas County Historical Society.

The 1870s playhouse is fun for all ages.
A third floor exhibit captures the feel of 1900s Mass Street.
A new Family Guide and hands-on activities in the Watkins Bank’s original tellers’ counter help family visitors explore life in early Lawrence.
The Watkins Museum’s recently renovated main stair hall
View an exhibit of artifacts from Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence.
The Museum is housed in the historic Watkins Building in downtown Lawrence, Kansas.
See a rare Milburn electric car on display in the exhibit area of the Watkins Museum.

Coming Events

Tuesday, December 19
Fall 2017 Homeschool Programs: Downtown Merchants
10-11 a.m.,;
Free local history classes for homeschooled kids, ages 5–12
Registration required. Read more here..
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Understanding DNA Results for Genealogy

10 a.m. to noon; $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers.
This class is for everyone, including students who took our first DNA class. We will spend most of the time looking at case studies, figuring out what to do with all those matches (!) and learning how to use DNA results to find relatives and stories. More information and registration.


Cole’s Cam

Taking you behind the scenes at the Watkins

Cole’s Cam takes you behind the scenes at the Watkins Museum. For more inside info on Watkins Museum programs, exhibits, and collections, visit our YouTube page.

Exhibitions Now on View

The Power of the People: Lawrence and Fair Housing
Third Floor, through January 31

Hidden Treasures: Staff Favorites from the Watkins Collection
Second Floor, through December 7

Community and Culture: The Lawrence Turnverein
Third Floor, September 27–February 2

Mass Street Magic: Weaver’s Window Displays
Second Floor, October 27–February 10

Watkins: The Couple, the Building, the Legacy
First Floor Lobby.


Visit the Watkins Museum of History

The Watkins Museum is open year round, and admission is free.

Hours

May–October
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday:
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.–4 p.m.
November–April
Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday and Holidays

The Watkins Museum’s public spaces are fully accessible.

Join the Douglas County
Historical Society

The Douglas County Historical Society, is a non-profit organization that was established in 1933. The society preserves the heritage of Douglas County and encourages civic engagement by sharing stories of the people and events that have shaped our communities.

Membership in the Douglas County Historical Society supports the Watkins Museum and offers inside information and members-only programs. Join Today!

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Watkins Museum of History
1047 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence , Kansas 66044
Phone (785) 841-4109 • Fax (785) 841-9547
info@watkinsmuseum.org

© Copyright 2018 Watkins Museum of History
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Freedom's Frontier Heritage Area
The Watkins Museum is a partner in the
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area