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Dalton Gang Museum sign.

Dalton Gang Hideout: Secret Escape Tunnel

Field review by the editors.

Meade, Kansas

A gaudy red metal sign with a six shooter points a few blocks off the main drag to the Dalton Gang Museum and Hideout. The 19th century outlaw Dalton brothers had a sister, Eva Dalton, who married John Whipple in the southern Kansas town of Meade in 1887. The simple wood frame house Whipple built for Eva was believed to be a popular stop for the Gang between their criminal escapades in 1891 and 1892. It became the focus of townspeople's suspicions whenever thefts occurred in the vicinity, compelling Eva and John to move on by 1892 (same year as the ill-fated Dalton Coffeyville Caper).

Dalton Gang hideout house.

Later inhabitants discovered a hidden, 95-foot-long getaway tunnel linking the barn and house through concealed doors. In June 1941 Meade fixed up the house and tunnel as a tourist attraction. To get help from the federal government -- which didn't want to glorify outlaws -- the town had to call it "Meade Historical Park." The popularity of Wild West attractions in the 1950s encouraged Meade to ditch the fake name, and the Dalton Gang Hideout has been a popular stop ever since.

The hideout is now maintained by the Meade Chamber of Commerce. Visitors can tour by entering through the barn (there's a museum in the loft, which includes a taxidermied two-headed calf), walking the tunnel, and emerging into the house via the kitchen floor trap door.

In 2015 the government finally hopped on the Dalton bandwagon and named the Hideout to the National Register of Historic Places.

Dalton Gang Hideout: Secret Escape Tunnel

Dalton Gang Museum

502 S. Pearlette St., Meade, KS
Dalton Gang Museum and Hideout. On S. Pearlette St., two blocks east of Hwy 23 and four blocks south of highway 54.
M-Sa 9-5, Su 1-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $5.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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