Photo credit:
Justin Wieland

Butterfield Trail Museum

An old courthouse, rich with history and stories to be explored!


he Museum

In this beautiful 1887 renaissance-style building, Russell Springs preserves the rich history of Butterfield's Overland Despatch (BOD) stage line.  Learn about the BOD stagecoach and the route it traveled.

The Building

From 1887 to 1963, the museum was the county courthouse.   It is the official repository of old county records and history.  The museum was dedicated in 1965 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Display

In addition to the displays related to the Butterfield Trail, the museum's collection includes local history, books and periodicals and a fossil collection of specimens from the Cretaceous Period which were found in the area. .  

A prairie home complete with clothing, tools, and furniture used by early plains settlers, as well as the old county jail house are also on the site.

The Smoky Hill Trail

The limestone BOD post outside the museum is one of the many waymarkers along the historic Smoky Hill Trail.  In 1865, the trail was the most direct, and most dangerous route from Atchison, Kansas to Denver, Colorado.

When to Visit

The museum is open May through Labor Day, Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed noon to 1 pm.  Free Admission

515 Hilts, Russell Springs

Admission: Free

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday - from 9AM to 5PM May to Labor Day.

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