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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Dalton Gang Hideout & Museum

Picture of property 502 S. Pearlette Street
Meade (Meade County)
Listed in National Register Jan 7, 2015

Architect: Work Projects Administration
Category: museum
Thematic Nomination: New Deal-era Resources of Kansas

The Dalton Gang Hideout and Museum is a product of the auto-tourism era of the early and middle 20th century. The Meade Chamber of Commerce, with assistance from the Work Projects Administration (WPA) and the National Youth Administration, developed the site in 1940 around the former residence of John and Eva (Dalton) Whipple, a sister of the famed outlaw Dalton brothers known for their robbery of trains and banks. Though stories of the Dalton Gang visiting Meade in the late 1800s surfaced in the early 20th century, primary source evidence to support these claims has remained elusive. Nevertheless, local officials hoped to attract visitors using the colorful Dalton Gang tales and showcase history through the collections of local history buffs at this site. WPA officials reportedly turned down the community's first proposal because it romanticized a gang of outlaws. The plans were resubmitted under the name Meade Historical Park, and greater emphasis was given to developing local history at the site. This mid-20th century roadside attraction is nominated as part of the "New Deal-era Resources of Kansas" and "Roadside Kansas" multiple property nominations under Criterion A for its local significance in the areas of social history, government, and tourism.

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