KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSHB) — Quindaro has been the site of plenty of history, including a time in the mid-1800s when members of the Wyandotte Nation gave slaves a new life after traveling through the underground railroad.
That’s one of the many stories a Kansas City, Kansas, native who grew up to becomes a Grammy-nominated music producer in Los Angeles aims to preserve.
“This is rich history,” Joseph Macklin said of his interest in maintaining The Old Quindaro Museum. “I want to make sure that I can do anything I can to make sure we preserve it.”
Descendants of the first black settlers in the Quindaro area are among those leading the push.
“They (Wyandotte Nation) allowed them to buy land, allowed them to have their own town of Quindaro,” museum volunteer Corranzo Lewis Jr. said. “They brought them to this area.”
Preserving that history is in jeopardy.
“We got water damage that’s going on,” Macklin said. “Of course, it’s from the roof. We want to take care of the window. When you go outside, you can see there is a lot of damage with the roof.”
Macklin, who has produced songs for pop stars such as Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, visited the museum one weekend during a visit to his hometown and became consumed by the past.
“It really moved me,” Macklin said. “The first thing I saw was the chains. It really shook me up.”
Now, he is taking it upon himself to help the group save the building.
“This is family,” Macklin said. “This is legacy. This is purpose. This is not just Kansas or Wydandotte County history. This is American history and it should be told.”
Led by Macklin, the Old Quindaro Museum has set a lofty goal of raining $20,000, which includes at least $10,000 to fix the roof.
The first fundraiser concert took place last weekend, but it did not raise enough money, so Volunteers are looking to the public to help keep history alive.
“(To) have this being the biggest, booming, tourist location that people come in from everywhere around the world to find out about the history that the legacy that the Indians people and African American people and white people came to bring this thing together,” Macklin said.