Burroughs Creek Trail Hike Through History
This series of National Park Service-quality panels are the first of their kind on the Lawrence Loop trail and serve as an outdoor museum. They feature original historic narratives written and researched by academics and local historians, vintage photographs, maps and other images from local, state and national archives enhance the exhibits. Installed along the paved 1.7-mile Burroughs Creek Trail and Linear Park path running from 11th Street to 23rd Street, the panels provide insight to Lawrence’s unique history and cultural identity.
Visitors to the outdoor museum will learn about:
- A local WWII German POW camp and how it impacted Lawrence’s wartime economy
- A long-gone amusement park banned African-American children and inspired the poetry of Langston Hughes, one of Lawrence’s most remarkable citizens
- The prominent Haskell family and their profound effect on the cityscape
- The East Side Stories and and the people behind street names like “Barker” and “Learnard”
- The fiery path blazed into Lawrence by Quantrill and his raiders in 1863
- The stories of thousands of immigrants who passed this way and across the high ridges of campus on their journeys to Oregon and California
- The artistry of William S. Burroughs, noted east Lawrence resident and the trail's namesake
- Lawrence's relationship with agriculture
The Hike Through History on the Burroughs Creek Trail project is the brainchild of the late Henry Fortunato, founder of Sunflower Republic LLC and former Visiting Fellow at the Hall Center for the Humanities. Thanks to initial crucial support from Dolph and Pam Simons, Henry led a four-year partnership with the Lawrence Public Library, the Watkins Museum of History, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. Additional contributors to the project include the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, recipients of the gifted panels. The East Lawrence Neighborhood Association, the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association, the Woods on 19th Homeowner’s Association, and the Barker Neighborhood Association consulted on the project.