National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Ritchie, John & Mary, House
Reference Number 15000939
State Kansas
County Shawnee
Town Topeka
Street Address 1116 SE Madison Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 12/29/2015
Areas of Significance Architecture, Social History, Other: Underground Railroad
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The John and Mary Ritchie House is nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria B and C for its local significance in the areas of social history and architecture. Under Criterion B, the property is significant as the sole surviving property associated with John and Mary Ritchie, who were important figures in the founding of Topeka, the regional network of the Underground Railroad, and in local reform efforts concerning temperance and women's suffrage. They were active in creating, shaping, and reinforcing sweeping reform movements of the nineteenth century emphasizing racial equality and democratic ideals and which sought to expand the voice in government to all people. Under Criterion C, the building is a rare surviving example of vernacular architecture associated with the formative years of Topeka and Kansas history. Although its date of construction is undetermined, the property is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria