The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 brought settlers to the Wakarusa River Valley, where fertile land stretched west of Lawrence and east of Topeka. The Oregon and Santa Fe Trails were the "highway" thoroughfares.
Many communities were established in those early days and usually with a strong point-of-view on pro or anti-slavery beliefs.
The Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum pays tribute to the communities and the founding settlers for their perseverance of defending their staunch beliefs in difficult times.
While the valley's history is monumental, a commitment to preserve it may not have come to fruition until the Clinton Reservoir and Dam began construction. Community members realized stories may never be preserved once generational families were displaced and artifacts disappeared or were destroyed.
The Clinton Lake Historical Society, a non-profit organization, was organized solely for the purpose of documenting community and family histories through stories, photos and documents in the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum. Please feel free to visit the museum during operating hours to learn more.