Nicodemus - Western National Parks Association


National Historic Site


Nicodemus is the oldest and only remaining Black settlement west of the Mississippi River, formed by formerly enslaved African Americans who left Kentucky at the end of post-Civil War Reconstruction to experience freedom. Learn about the African American role in the westward expansion and settlement of the Great Plains.

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Nicodemus National Historic Site, located in northwestern Kansas, preserves the oldest and only black settlement in the western United States. The site protects five historic buildings, and represents the involvement of African Americans in westward expansion. Today, many visit for the annual Emancipation Celebration, which began in 1878 and fosters the renewal of the spirit of Nicodemus.

Kids in Parks

National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone. –Terry Tempest Williams, Author & Conservationist

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Bring the Parks Home

When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.