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Blueprints and drawings of the Meade Historical Park, more commonly known as the Dalton Gang Hideout and Museum, at 502 South Pearlette Street in Meade, Kansas. The site was developed around the former residence of 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 surfaced in the early 20th century, evidence to support these claims has remained elusive. The Meade Chamber of Commerce, which purchased the former Whipple property in 1940, led the effort to develop the site into a tourist attraction with the financial assistance of the New Deal-era Work Projects Administration (WPA). John Sullivan served as supervisor of the park project. WPA officials reportedly turned down the community's first proposal, according to the March 5, 1942 edition of the Meade Globe-News, because it romanticized a gang of outlaws. The plans were resubmitted under the name Meade Historical Park and greater emphasis was given to developing a local history museum at the site. The blueprints include plans for a complete reconstruction of the Whipple barn, the construction of a rock-lined underground tunnel connecting the new barn and 1887 house, and landscape elements such as rock walls, outdoor stoves, picnic tables, a wishing well, and plantings. WPA and National Youth Administration laborers completed the site work and construction. A museum operated by Ruth and Walter Dingess opened in the Whipple residence in May 1941 and later moved to the upper floor of the barn. The community officially opened the park in June 1941 during the local Cavalcade of the Plains festival, which was part of a statewide commemoration of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's travels through the region some 400 years earlier. The Meade County Historical Society has the original blueprints.

Creator: United States. Work Projects Administration
Date: July - November 1940

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Meade Historical Park - 1

Item Number: 305702
Call Number: KHRI #119-41
Holding Institution: Meade County Historical Society

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