Watkins Museum of History
The Watkins Museum of History is the headquarters of the Douglas County Historical Society. The society and museum's mission is to "promote civic engagement by supporting the preservation, research, and interpretation of county history through active exhibits and thought-provoking educational programs for the public." The museum is housed in the historic Watkins Building and contains three floors of exhibits telling stories of Lawrence and Douglas County history, from the tense days of Bleeding Kansas through the Civil Rights Era and KU Jayhawks championships. Admission is free. The second floor gallery exhibits provide an excellent introduction to how the creation of Lawrence and Kansas helped precipitate the Civil War, as well as the cause and effects of William Clarke Quantrill's infamous raid on the city on August 21, 1863.