Taking a closer look at Brown v. Board to get clues to the past

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – National Park Service archaeologists will be conducting geophysical testing on the grounds of the historic Monroe School starting this afternoon, Monday, June 14, through Tuesday afternoon.

Officials hope to get data on potential buried features that could be used to focus excavations next year.

Between the 1860s and the 1920s the neighborhood that surrounded the school was a working class African-American area.

Between 1999 and 2003 some archeological projects were done revealing how people in the area lived.

Archeologists confirmed the presence of at least five of these structures, including the foundation of the original Monroe School, constructed in 1874. While it was one of the first African-American schools in the city, Monroe School was also known for its substandard conditions. Research shows that the surrounding neighborhood was probably a mixed-ethnicity, working-class community made up of single family residences with a frame or brick main house and several outbuildings.

Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site

The study will be conducted by the Kansas Historical Society.

Brown v. Board is hosting the Kansas Archaeological Training Program (KATP) field school next year during the first two weeks of June 2022.

The archeology at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site tells the story of the Monroe School neighborhood and the growth of Topeka from the late 19th century into the 20th century.

Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site

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