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SELF GUIDED TOUR - The Downtown Area

Continue north on Broadway to Delaware Street take a right and then immediately on the right hand side is The First City Museum, 743 Delaware, that currently houses a 1913 C.W. Parker Carousel in the process of restoration. There is also what is thought to be the oldest primitive carousel on display, as well as a mock-up of the Federal Penitentiary, prison memorabilia and other frontier memorabilia and artifacts. The museum is open Thursdays & Fridays Noon - 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Travel to Fifth Street where on the Northwest corner is the Performing Arts Center, which was once a movie house. This building is listed on the State Register of National Historic places and is currently the home of the River City Community Players, a group that produces theatrical events throughout the year.

One block north on Fifth Street is City Hall. This building was built in 1924 on the same site as the original City Hall, which dated from the territorial days. On the lawn is a replica of the Statue of Liberty, placed and dedicated by the Boys Scouts in 1950. Near its base the City's time capsule was buried during the nation's bicentennial celebration. It is scheduled to be unearthed in July 2076.

At Fourth and Delaware, southwest corner, is the Mid America Bank & Trust Co. This was once the location of the opera house, know as Stockton Hall where, in December, 1859, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address.

Across the street, on the northwest corner, was the location of the headquarters of Russell, Majors and Waddell, one of the largest overland freight companies in western history. In 1855 it won the government contract for hauling supplies to western forts and to the troops in the field. One of its early employees was William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who began working when he was about 12 or 13 years old. (The Cody farm was north of the fort in Salt Creek Valley.) Later Cody transferred to the company's branch enterprise in St. Joseph, the Pony Express.

Continue east on Delaware to the two blocks nearest the Missouri River. This two-block area was the center of economic activity from 1854 to 1870. It is called the Leavenworth Landing, where thousands of tons of supplies were once unloaded from the river boats. Pioneers by the thousands came to Leavenworth by boat to buy their wagons and stock from local merchants before heading west.

The row of brick buildings on Delaware between Second and Third Streets is a splendid example of the city's effort to preserve its past while catering to the present.
Continue on to The River View
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