Markers commemorating Lanesfield School’s history have recently been added at the site, so visitors can take self-guided tours.
Lanesfield was named in honor of Gen. J.H. Lane, a free-state man, who “won the historic battle of Lanesfield without having fired a single gun, but by strategy, putting to rout a horde of pro’slavery men,” according to the History of Lanesfield, by Cora Jameson.
“It was a glorious victory and the handsome Lanesfield rock school house now stands a monument of progress and Kansas evolution, from lowly log to the granite, ‘Ad Astra Per Aspera,’” the history states.
Lanesfield at the time boasted three churches, 16 dwelling houses, three stores, one blacksmith shop, and the “memorable” Jim Lane hotel
“Lanesfield was a free-state town,” the history reads. “A pro-slavery town, McCamish, flourished the short distance of only one-half mile east located on the creek.” The Santa Fe Trail ran thru McCamish, founded about 1854.
Lanesfield, founded as a rival free state town, at one time boasted a population of near 100 in the 1860’s, McCamish, languished with a high population of about 50in 1858.
When the railroad came thru the county, the town’s location changed, the history states, “and as a result Edgerton, first named Martin, became the metropolis, and the monument remaining to mark the battle grounds and keep memories fresh in our minds of that grand old man, Gen. J. H. Lane, is the rock structure of the present day.”
The Lanesfield school site is free and open for visits every Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.jocogov.org/museum.