Historic Topeka Cemetery

Basic info | Curriculum & Standards | Logistics & Budget | Resources

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1601 E. 10th Ave. 785.233.4132
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday mornings by appointment. Tour reservations are required.


The first organized cemetery in Kansas, dating back to 1859, is the final resting place of American Vice President Charles Curtis, five governors, as well as countless soldiers, inventors, businessmen and pioneers such as Cyrus K. Holliday and Arthur Capper. In addition to learning about the lives of distinguished Kansans, students have the opportunity to discuss world history, art, military history, politics, and civil rights.

Subjects covered: Civil War, Topeka History, Kansas History

Grade level: Middle and Upper Grades. Upper Grades get the most out of the cemetery tours. Middle schoolers do scavenger hunts.

Best time to visit: Spring and early Fall

Indoors, outdoors, or both? Outdoors; extensive walking required

Clothing type recommended: Dress for the outdoors and wear comfortable walking shoes. Depending on the season, you may want to have sunscreen.

How to book field trip: Contact the cemetery office or the Shawnee County Historical Society. Educational programs at the Ritchie House are often coordinated with the cemetery, Brown v Board NHS, and other local attractions.

Curriculum & Standards: 

Are there curriculum materials or guides at the site? Not at this time.

Grade specific field trip programs available? Please call for specific programs based on grade level and interest. Areas of interest include: Topeka Business Leaders, Topeka Newspaper Publishers, Musical Notables, Politics, Civil War, and Veterans throughout Topeka History.

Budget & Logistics: 

Cost: Free

Are there scholarships, general grants, or transportation grants available? No

How long will the tour take from start to finish? It can differ depending on several factors: weather, age of group, field of interest, and time of day. On average it would be about 1-2 hours.

Pre-Post classroom visits available upon request? Contact the cemetery office to set up an appointment.

Max number of students the venue can accommodate for a tour? None

Minimum number of participants needed for a tour? 10 is appreciated

Number of adults per student needed? 1 for every 10-15 students

Can they eat lunch inside/on site and/or bring their own lunches? Groups can picnic on site. They have water available, as well as chairs and tables. Just be aware that the bathroom on site is one at a time.

Where do the buses need to park? Is this also where the students should be dropped off? You park near Mausoleum Row and everyone gets out and walks from there. If driving the tour, a school bus is the largest that can traverse cemetery grounds. The roundabouts on the south end barely take a large SUV so there might be areas that can’t be accessed.


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