Mount Oread

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Mount Oread /ˈɔri.æd/ is a hill in Lawrence, Kansas upon which the University of Kansas is located.[1] It sits on the water divide between the Kansas and Wakarusa rivers. It was named after the Oread Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. The hill was originally called Hogback Ridge by many Lawrence residents until the Oread name was adopted in 1866.[2]

For emigrants going westward by wagon train on the Oregon Trail, "The Hill", as Mount Oread is now commonly referred to by residents of Lawrence, was the next big topographical challenge after crossing the Wakarusa River near today's Haskell Indian Nations University.

According to the United States Geological Survey, Mount Oread is located approximately 1,037 feet (316 m) above sea level. By way of comparison, downtown Lawrence is about 846 feet (258 m) above sea level. Mount Oread is perhaps best known for being the staging area of William Quantrill's raid into Lawrence on August 21, 1863, during the American Civil War. Presently, the campus of the University of Kansas (KU) rests on Mount Oread.

In recent years, Mount Oread has obtained the nickname "Snob Hill," largely from students, alumni, and supporters of Kansas State University, owing to the perceived attitudes of superiority of KU students. This was memorably encapsulated by a prank pulled at Allen Fieldhouse during a Sunflower Showdown basketball game on February 20, 1965, when two banners reading "Go Cats, Kill Snob Hill Again" unfurled on the east and west sides of the scoreboard. KU would go on to a decisive 88-66 victory despite the banners' urging.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume 2. Standard Publishing Company. p. 331. 
  2. ^ "This Week in KU History". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°57′47.32″N 95°15′25.51″W / 38.9631444°N 95.2570861°W / 38.9631444; -95.2570861