Lawrence KS Fun Facts
Prior to Kansas Territory being established in May 1854, most of Douglas County was part of the Shawnee Indian Reservation, which had been created in 1830. During this period, the Oregon Trail ran parallel to the Kansas River, roughly through the area where Lawrence would eventually be situated. A hill in the area, then known as “Hogback Ridge” (now known as Mount Oread, which sits on the water divide separating the Kansas and Wakarusa River) was used as a landmark and an outlook by those on the trail. While this territory was technically unopened to settlement prior to 1854, there did exist a few “squatter settlements” in the area, especially just north of the Kansas River.