Seneca Mainstreet Walking Tour
Seneca was established in 1858 by immigrant farmers and merchants coming off the Oregon Trail with the first cluster of buildings near the Nemaha River being known as “Castle Rock.” Follow the walking tour graphic panels to lead you through Seneca’s Main Street district and 13 sites of historic relevance with stories of the Pony Express Riders, the beginnings of the newspaper and telephone company, award winning library, the original Nemaha County Jail and others. Let your imagination run wild as you stroll the proud streets of Seneca.
Don’t forget to grab a guide from the kiosk located at 4th street and Main.
Download the Seneca Walking Tour Podcast to listen along :
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Hand Dug Well
The Seneca Hand Dug Well, located at 301 North 11th Street, is the last visible sign of Seneca, Kansas’ original water system, installed in 1895. The 65 feet deep by 34 feet wide, rock/brick-lined well is the widest and second largest hand-dug well in Kansas. The 3 feet wide rock walls are laid in 4 feet high sections, constructed from ground level downward. Water depth is approximately 25 feet and has remained at that level since at least 1979, long after the well stopped being used for human consumption. A domed house with shingled roof covers the well and is open topped by a cupola. Installation of submersible pumps took place during city restoration work in 1989. A service platform was installed by the golf club and enclosed for visitor safety. The well has been used to water the golf course fairways in the past and now draws tourists to view this site of interest. The Seneca Hand Dug Well is listed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places as well as the National Register of Historic Places. Tours available by appointment May—October by calling the Nemaha County Historical Museum at (785) 336-6366, Anita at (785) 556-4094, or DarlAnn (785) 294-1174.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church at St. Benedict is located 3.5 miles north of Seneca. The church is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, Kansas Historic Sites and is recognized as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. Constructed of native limestone in 1889-1894, the church is recognized nationally for it’s interior decoration of symbolic art, large murals, stained glass and exceptional statuary.
For more information or tours please call (785) 336-3174 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
US Post Office
This building, located at 607 Main Street, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Federal financial aid contributed to the construction of the new Post Office in 1938. According to the building cornerstone, Louis Simon was the supervising architect and Neal Melich was the supervising engineer. This is one of twenty-four post offices listed as part of a Kansas Post Office Art Work Thematic Resources nomination (1936-1942) for its mural “Men and Wheat.” The Post Office was selected in a national competition to receive a mural from the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts. The Seneca Post Office is an example of one of many smaller class C or D type post offices that received artwork in Kansas.
For a full listing of area historic sites visit the Nemaha County Historical Society on the web or call (785)336-6366.