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Nestled on the bluffs above the Missouri River, Atchison was one of the first settlements in the Kansas Territory. Lewis and Clark camped here in 1804. Incorporated as a town in 1858, Atchison was named for Missouri senator David Rice Atchison. Famed for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the city was a popular travel route for river and wagon train traffic long before the railroad. Boasting one of the best steamboat landings on the Missouri River, Atchison sometimes had as many as five steamboats landing daily. Among the city's early settlers were the Benedictine Monks, who established an abbey on the north bluffs, and the ...

Nestled on the bluffs above the Missouri River, Atchison was one of the first settlements in the Kansas Territory. Lewis and Clark camped here in 1804. Incorporated as a town in 1858, Atchison was named for Missouri senator David Rice Atchison. Famed for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the city was a popular travel route for river and wagon train traffic long before the railroad. Boasting one of the best steamboat landings on the Missouri River, Atchison sometimes had as many as five steamboats landing daily. Among the city's early settlers were the Benedictine Monks, who established an abbey on the north bluffs, and the Benedictine Sisters, who started a convent. Grand Victorian homes recall the days when wealthy railroad and lumber barons walked these brick-paved streets. The world's most famous aviatrix, Amelia Earhart, was born in Atchison on July 24, 1897. Scattered around Atchison are many attractions honoring Earhart, including her birthplace, which overlooks the Missouri River. The International Forest of Friendship salutes all aviation and aerospace pioneers and features trees from each state and more than 40 foreign countries. Grown from a sycamore seed taken to the moon on Apollo 14, a "moon tree" is part of a memorial to the astronauts who lost their lives in space exploration.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Atchison is situated on the Missouri River in the northeastern part of the state of Kansas
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Memorial Day weekend in May for the River Bend Art Festival