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Black Jack is ready to make history again! We have raised 93% of our $2.1 million dollar goal to build a visitor center and adjacent parking lot, and to restore the battlefield to tallgrass prairie – the way it was when the combatants took aim at each other.
In the pre-dawn hours of June 2, 1856 – five years before Ft. Sumpter – Abolitionist John Brown led Free-State forces into battle against Pro-Slavery militiamen in the vast prairie of southeast Douglas County. The Battle of Black Jack is now widely characterized as the first real battle of the Civil War, so historically significant that the site has been designated a National Historical Landmark.
As Black Jack Battlefield gains recognition, we’ve noticed a steady increase of visitors to our site, but there is not a visitor center to accommodate the influx of guests who are interested in learning about Black Jack’s rich history. A visitor center will serve as a space for the community and school children to learn about Black Jack through exhibits. It will also allow visitors to take shelter during inclement weather.
Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park is a non-profit, committed to robustly fulfilling our educational mission, confident that the greater the number of visitors to Black Jack, the greater the economic development potential for surrounding communities.
Although we are nationally recognized, we are unique in that we are privately owned by the Black Jack Trust. This means that our members (as stakeholders) get a direct voice in shaping Black Jack's future. We’ve achieved our goals without direct federal dollars. In fact, over 60% of our pledges have come from private donors and non-profit organizations. Please consider making a pledge to help Black jack’s story continue.
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