Delightfully Mistaken

By Beth Gulley

Frequently in my life, I am mistaken. As I pulled on to 169 highway to take my second trip on my summer assassination vacation tour, I mistakenly turned towards Louisburg instead of Osawatomie. Instead of getting upset, I chuckled to myself, and turned around.

I chose the Adair Cabin and John Brown Park for my second stop. I realize this seems a lot less exotic than the Alamo, but the Adair Cabin is a treasure many people don’t think to value. In fact, when I visited, I was told that the Adair Cabin is one of two cabins in the country that have been preserved in their original state instead of being reconstructed as replicas.

I also had to do a mental check to make sure the Adair Cabin fit my criteria. I wanted to visit historical sites commemorating people who were assassinated or died in battle. John Brown was executed which is technically different than assassination. However, his son Fredrick died in the battle of Osawatomie which John Brown Park commemorates. Furthermore, John Brown assassinated several men during the Potawatomie Massacre, and Reverend Adair refused refuge to Owen Brown that night because he helped. So it counts.

Because I am a tourist, not a historian, I am interested in the spectacle of the places I visit as much as I am interested in their history. I expected the carnival for the John Brown Jamboree to be set up in John Brown Park when I arrived, but again, I was mistaken. A few trailers were parked at the bottom of the hill, but the park was mostly empty with the exception of a few children on the playground and a few dog walkers. The whole park felt peaceful.

In the past, when I have been playing in the park, I have looked at the cabin with curiosity, but I felt like going up to it would be an intrusion. Again, I was mistaken. This time, the cabin had a great big “we are open” sign in front of it. I walked up to the front door, and I went inside. I spent quite a bit of time talking with the lady at the front desk, and petting her dog. Only one other family toured the cabin while I was there, so I did not feel rushed or squished.

As a tourist looking for curiosities, I should tell you I did not find anything weird in the Adair Cabin. In fact, I believe Osawatomie has done a fine job of respectfully preserving history. However, there were a few parts of the exhibit that stood out to me. A plaque relaying facts about Fiorella Adair mentioned that Samuel made her promise to be with him in poverty, persecution, and death. I guess they knew what they were getting in to when they moved out to Kansas. This same plaque reminds us that the whole tribe went to Oberlin College. They left Oberlin on fire to change the world. It made me wish I had gone to Oberlin. The other thing that stuck out to me was the dagger that John Brown had handed out to slaves to protect themselves. I vaguely remember reading about that in high school history class.

Finally, I asked if the John Brown Jamboree that starts this week was just an excuse for the city to have carnival. Again, I was mistaken. The whole Jamboree is put on the historical society to commemorate John Brown. So while you are riding rides and watching the parade, you should stop in at the cabin. You might be surprised or delighted. Or like me, you may find your assumptions about this local historic site are mistaken.

Short URL: http://osawatominews.com/?p=1326

Posted by admin on Jun 18 2011. Filed under Beth Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Delightfully Mistaken”

  1. Hello Osawatomie,

    I am working for the State of Kansas to help try to find one of your fellow citizens a part-time job as a janitor. This gentleman is 65 years old and is looking for a job to hehelp him make ends meet. I am not famialar with your area, so I am asking for any advice you can give me on how to help this man.


    Gerard Arantowicz

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