Amelia Earhart’s Hometown


Could the key to the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance be discovered in her birthplace of Atchison, Kansas?

The peaceful town of Atchison Kansas may hold the answers to two major questions about Amelia Earhart’s life and death.

  1. Just what made Amelia Earhart become a pilot who specialized in long distance flights?
  2. What exactly happened to her after her mysterious disappearance July 2,1937?

What made Amelia decide to become a pilot?

The house Amelia was born in, July 24, 1897 belonged to her grandfather on her mother’s side; retired U.S. District Court Judge Alfred Otis. It is situated on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River.

The river moves swiftly and silently below. Not far from the house, upstream, the river bends sharply out of view. One can follow the river a bit longer downstream before it too bends sharply out of sight. It was at the downriver bend that Louis and Clark chose for one of their encampments. A child of adventuresome spirit must have wondered where the river comes from or where it is going.

Down below, in the town the tracks still remain where the famous Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad ran. Standing on the bluff by the house train whistles from unseen trains can be heard coming and going fostering perhaps even more desire for adventure in a young mind.

Birds fly out over the Missouri plains and disappear into the distance. They are able to see where the river goes and where it comes from and where the railroads are headed. Consciously or not, these images had a great impact on Amelia’s formative years in creating the wanderlust she developed and which became part of the choice for her decision to be a pilot.

What secrets does Amelia’s birthplace hold about her disappearance?

Besides holding the secret to Amelia’s career choice, it may also hold the secret to her death. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace is now a museum run by the Ninety-Nines (the international women’s flying organization) which Amelia helped found.

It has been and continues to be beautifully restored to the way it might have looked when Amelia lived there with her grandparents. The house includes many wonderful artifacts and photos from her life and amazing career. Atchison is not far from Kansas City . The tour of the house is a self guided one.

But what about her disappearance – what can the house tell us about that? When the official tour is over, ask to see the basement. At the bottom of the steps, on a concrete slab there are two concrete mounds, about the size and shape of a human body. There is no apparent reason why they are there.

Had Amelia Earhart and her navigator on her last flight, Fred Noonan’s bodies been recovered and are they buried below the house where she was born? That is the question many researchers have speculated upon but no one seems to know. Just what or who lies beneath those two concrete mounds?

The Birthplace Museum attracts many fascinating visitors. Many of them claiming to hold the answers to Amelia’s fate. If one goes out there for the Amelia Earhart Birthday celebration in July, one is liable to see famous pilots, relatives from Amelia Earhart’s or her husband and promoter, George Putnam’s family as well as researchers and writers of books on Amelia and the mystery that surrounds her disappearance; most of whom claim to have the true answers to Amelia and Fred’s true fate. It has even been reported that people claiming to be Amelia’s children have come to the house although Amelia had no children.

Although the roots of Amelia’s adventurous spirit become clear on a visit to Atchison – the answer to her disappearance on July 2, 1937 still, for the time being remains a mystery.


  1. The Fun of It – By Amelia Earhart – Published by Brewer, Warren and Putnam, 1932
  2. Twenty Hours and Forty Minutes – By Amelia Earhart – Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons – 1928