Explore Lawrence at your own pace with themed self-guided tours. These tours offer a glimpse into the history of Lawrence and the surrounding areas. Our current tours take you on a journey through the historic cemeteries of the area, retrace the steps of Quantrill’s Raid, visit some of the most significant basketball sites, and meander through the “crown jewel” of our Historic Downtown district, Mass Street.
The online tours offer a background of each site, plus a Google Map to help you navigate at your own pace. Start at our Visitors Center (812 Massachusetts Street) where you can pick up brochures that go with each tour. And don’t forget to stop by the Watkins Museum of History to discover the rest of the story for each topic.
EXPLORE FAMOUS BASKETBALL SITES OF LAWRENCE,
There’s no penalty for traveling when it comes to Lawrence basketball sites!
Featuring exciting games, crucial locations, and amazing stories of coaches and players, Lawrence is a champion destination for basketball fans. Whether your primary passion is current hoops or the sport’s history, our city is a slam dunk!
For Lawrence residents, the civil war that broke out in 1861 was merely a widening and intensification of the long-running Kansas-Missouri border conflict. Lawrence stood as a symbol of the Union cause for both Union and Confederate sympathizers.
After two years of brutal warfare along the border, Confederate guerilla leader William Clarke Quantrill decided to mount an attack on the town.
Quantrill assembled about 400 men in Missouri on August 18, 1863, and rode for Lawrence, eluding Union troops along the way. “The attack was perfectly planned,” one witness recounted. “Every man seemed to know his place. … The order was to burn every house and kill every man.” The unsuspecting citizens of Lawrence had been subjected to several previous and false alarms of attack and now were totally unprepared for Quantrill’s raid.
Massachusetts Street (referred to by locals as “Mass Street”), is the main street that runs through Downtown Lawrence. The 600 – 1200 blocks of Mass Street are listed on the National Register of Historical Places under Lawrence’s Historical District. Most of the buildings were built between 1856 – 1953. This self-guided tour reveals the history on every block!