Explored the area around the Osawatomie State Hospital (originally known as the Kansas Insane Asylum), located near Osawatomie, Kansas. The grounds are still beautiful, but you can see that they once were grand, and are now falling into disrepair. And yes, I was just visiting!
This is “John Brown Lookout Park”, located at about 319th & Lookout Road. This tall hill (with a steep climb!) provides a great view over a large area. There’s not really a park here, just the hill…
According to lore, this is where John Brown directed the escape of slaves by his Underground Railroad.
(This photo really doesn’t do it justice at all; it’s much more impressive in real life!)
This is looking toward Paola from the top of the hill at “John Brown Lookout Park”. From here you can also see Osawatomie and the Marais Des Cygnes River valley.
Osawatomie State Hospital in Osawatomie, KS. This was established in 1866 as the “Kansas Insane Asylum”.
This graveyard is unmarked, but I assume it contains the remains of patients who died at the hospital. There are roughly 300 headstones here, each marked with just a number.
Arbors and reflecting pond at the Osawatomie State Hospital. There’s no water in the pond, and the arbors and gardens are in disrepair, but this is still a peaceful setting.
Resting in the arbor.
There is a long set of stone stairs leading from the entrance gate up to the arbor. Again, they’ve seen better days, but still hold some grandeur.
This is the Asylum Bridge that connects Osawatomie to the State Hospital, over the Marais Des Cygnes River.
It’s a shame that Osawatomie is letting this historic bridge fall into ruin. It was built in 1905 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only known example of a “Reverse Parker Truss” bridge. It is currently closed to all traffic, but would make a great attraction for the town as a bike/ped bridge, and provide Hospital workers who live in Osawatomie a convenient path to walk or bike to work.