Geocaching up the Lane Trial

George Washington Gravestone

A geocacher, Melissa Gard volunteered her time to install the caches at several Underground Railroad sites. Underground Railroad Kansas supplied the geocache boxes and other supplies. I also have written some descriptions telling why the area where the cache is found was important to the Underground Railroad. To date, we have placed two caches in Quindaro. Melissa has placed a cache at the Wakarusa Valley Heritage Museum, The George Washington grave site the Clinton lake cemetery and in Holton, Kansas. The Clinton Cemetery is the Cemetery where our late and great friend Jimmy Johnson’s, great grandfather is buried. George Washington escaped from the Platte County farm of Jessie Miller in 1863. He made his way across a frozen Missouri River to Quindaro. He soon joined the U.S. Army and the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment. He fought with other former slaves until the end of the War. Many of the white officers were from the Wakarusa River Valley. George and other “Colored” troops returned to this area and purchased land. George raised 5 children on his farm. George was known to hold large July 4th picnics and all the area farmers attended.  George is buried on this site and his stone is shows he was a member of  The First Kansas Colored became the 79th U.S. Colored Infantry. 

I recommend a trip to the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum and search for the another geocache we placed there. This museum tells the story of these early settlers. I recommend you ask for Martha Parker, the Director. Martha wrote a book about these farmers and their Underground Railroad exploits. Jimmy Johnson conducted an archaeological survey of the Platte County farm where George Washington was held in bondage. The museum holds a few artifacts from that dig.

George Washington and his wife Armanda Simpson left a huge legacy in their children and grandchildren. All have obtained advanced degrees and contributed much to society.  Below is a picture of the late James S. “Jimmy” Johnson in his role as his great grandfather, Private George Washington.Jimmy Johnson

Additionally, we found that there are existing geocaches on the grounds of the John Ritchie home in Topeka and the Mayhew Cabin in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Our goal is to establish a series of geocaches at Underground Railroad locations from Mound City north along the Lane Trail to Nebraska City, Nebraska and the Mayhew cabin. If there are any geocachers who are equipped to install one of these, please do so and let me know to add them to my list. I will also provide historical data to go on our internet link.

Below are links to the existing geocaches that are listed on the geocaching website and can be found by the many people who like to geocache.

Quindaro Site #1       http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC59QAK_ugrr-quindaro-overlook

Quindaro Site # 2     http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5AN50_ugrr-john-brown-statue

Lawrence, KS Wakarusa River Valley Museum http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5GH6P_ugrr-wakarusa-river-valley

Clinton Lake cemetery burial site of George Washington who escaped on UGRR. http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5RC5X_ugrr-clinton-cemetery?guid=e4acba54-103e-4207-b5a3-3d3c1de5d721 

John Ritchie House http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4P53P_seeking-freedom?guid=4b2c91dc-112d-4727-8582-9b13ce7d0c08 

Battle of the Spurs http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2W1T9_battle-of-the-spurs

Mt. Mitchell             http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC3XNM2&title=mount-mitchell&guid=f1f48631-c531-40eb-b99b-f1e34df23975

Beecher Bible and Rifle Church http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1V539_wbcs-11-wabaunsee

Mayhew Cabin http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4MMN6_mayhew-cabin

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