The Old Quindaro Museum has survived for decades as a labor of love. The museum was the brainchild of Jesse Hope who served for decades as the museum’s volunteer curator, tour guide and maintenace man. Jesse has passed on, and now his brother John is keeping the history of Old Quindaro alive within the walls of this old stone house in far north Kansas City Kansas.
“It’s the only African-American museum in Wyandotte County” says John proudly.
The museum tells the story of the Old Quindaro Community that was originally home to the Wyandot Indians. They welcomed slaves who escaped across the Missouri River and landed safely on their soil.
Many of the slaves settled right there, and eventually Quindaro became a thriving community that was home to several hotels, many Black-owned businesses, beautiful stone homes and Western University, the only Historically Black College west of the Mississippi.
All of the Quindaro history, even the very site itself, would have been lost had it not been for the Jesse and the Concerned Citizens of Old Quindaro. They helped save the area, which was about to become a landfill, and now hope to see the area designated a National Historical Site.
The group also helped saved the house where the museum is located. It was the home of John Allen Walker, who for 50 years served as care taker for Western University. With the help of the Kansas City Council, led by Nathan Barnes, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the house was purchased and deeded to the group.
For decades, thousands of children, adults and tourists have visited the museum and learned the history of Quindanro and the families who lived there. However, time is beginning to take its toll and the building is in need of considerable refurbishing and repairs. Proceeds from the Quindaro Freedom Run and Community Celebration will benefit the museum.
A new roof is one of the group’s highest priorites. If the roof starts leaking, they run the chance of losing some of their important artifacts.
So for more than just fun, come out and participate June 10 at the Quindaro Freedom Run and Community Day. If you can’t attend, make a donation. Checks can be mailed to: Concerned Citizens of Old Quindaro, 3432 N. 29th St., Kansas City, KS. 66104.