Since it was just me and 4 kiddos, I knew that Shorty wasn't going to fare well through all I had planned, so we went to the John Ritchie House first. Ritchie House is the oldest structure standing in Topeka. The Ritchies were staunch abolitionists, hanging with the likes of John Brown during the turbulent territorial era. Their house was a stop on the Underground Railroad. When we got there, Bubby was SO excited (really he makes homeschooling easy, the kid LOVES learning!). He leaped out of the car and shouted "The Freedom Trail!" He had learned about the house at Kansas Day and its been on his mental list to visit ever since.
|The kids in the front room of Ritchie House with a pic of John Ritchie|
On to the Brown vs. Board site. I explained the background of it on the way over. The kids hadn't studied that yet and were fairly incredulous that segregation had happened. I was glad to expose them to these in conjunction with each other, really makes history more easily understandable when you can merge lessons like that.
The next room is my favorite, it is chalked full of why blacks were treated the way they were, the Jim Crow laws, the court cases, a timeline, and a hallway which makes you feel like you're walking in the midst of one of the race riots (it can be a little overwhelming, so keep that in mind for young kids - Shorty was unaffected though).
|The riot hallway. This pic does not do it justice.|
Bubby is already planning our next Junior Ranger expedition to Nicodemus, KS. I'm focusing on something closer like the National Archives in Kansas City:)