Quindaro, Kansas Territory - Kansas City, Kansas
Quindaro became an important station on the Underground railway, with slaves escaping from Platte county crossing the Missouri River in small boats and secret runs of Parkville-Quindaro Ferry. Many slaves simply walked across frozen river in winter.
The town of Quindaro, in what is now Kansas City, Kansas, was founded in 1856 by Abelard Guthrie, who named the town for his Wyandot Indian wife, Nancy Quindaro Brown. At its peak, Quindaro was home to Europeans, Native Americans, and African Americans, all living together peacefully. It became mostly African American by the late 19th century.
The town site stretched from 17th to 42nd Street and from Parallel to the Missouri River. The Missouri River was then west of the present location, exposing a rock ledge that formed a natural levee for steamboat landings. Construction started in January 1857. In the first year there were 100 buildings completed, with many of stone and brick, "including hotels, Dry Goods, Hardware and Grocery stores, a Church [two churches] and School house." Its sawmill was the largest in Kansas. The lower townsite near the river was the commercial core, and most residences were higher on the bluff, at the upper townsite. The main street of the town was intended to be Kansas Avenue, but is now 27th Street and was never cut through to the river.
Quindaro became an important station on the Underground railway, with slaves escaping from Platte county crossing the Missouri River in small boats and secret runs of the Parkville-Quindaro Ferry. Many slaves made their escapes in winter, when they could simply walk across the frozen river. The runaways hid with local farmers before traveling to Nebraska and freedom. With the outbreak of Civil War the town was abandoned by most of the inhabitants. The town's incorporation was revoked by the Kansas State legislature in 1862 and the site never fully revitalized. After being abandoned, the early lower commercial townsite became overgrown, with some areas covered by earth falling from the bluffs. In the early 20th century, all of the townsite was incorporated into Kansas City
The ruins of Quindaro now belong to the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the City of Kansas City, Kansas. There is a stone platform overlooking the ruins, but the ruins themselves may only be visited by tour arranged at (913) 573-5100.
You may also visit the two Quindaro Cemeteries. On is located at 38th and Parallel and has become a part of the Mount Hope Cemetery. The second Quindaro Cemetery is located at 34th and Sewell Avenue.
A small museum was started nearby in 2009 - Old Quindaro Museum & Information Center at 3432 North 29th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66104 Phone: (913) 244-820.
An archaeological study in 1987-1988 required for a public project revealed the remains of the 1850s townsite. The foundations of 20 main buildings, two outbuildings, three wells, and one cistern were found. From original maps, newspapers and letters, researchers know other structures exist. Because of the significance of the town, the townsite has been designated an archaeological district and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 2002.