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2011 Annual Meeting
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011
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2011 Fall Open House
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011
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History Camps for Kids Four weekly camps in June, 2011
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Forging Freedom's Pathway Saturday, June 11, 2011
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Donor Recognition Event
Sunday, May 29, 2011
box [graphic] 2011 Preservation AwardsSunday, May. 1, 2011
box [graphic] Hale Ritchie House Tour First Public Use, May 1, 2011
box [graphic] Hale Ritchie House, 1st Trustees Mtg.
Apr. 19, 2011
box [graphic] John Ritchie Open Houses Four on Saturdays, Apr., 2011

Ltr-to-the-Editor: Historical Culture as Economic Opportunity (pdf)

2011 Officers:

2011 Trustees:

  • Jeff Carson
  • Tara Dimick
  • Hal Gardner
  • Debra Goodrich Bisel
  • David J. Heinemann
  • Laura Higbee
  • Kristina "Kris" Klima
  • Jeanne Mithen
  • Murl Reidel
  • Chris Schultz
  • Carlton Scroggins
  • Ustaine Talley
  • Joan Wagnon
  • Doug Wallace
  • Jill Wolters
  • Doug Wright

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box [graphic] A Brief History
box [graphic] Society News
box [graphic] Current Trustees
box [graphic] Help Insure a Bright Future
box [graphic] Benefits of Membership
box [graphic] Nominations
box [graphic] Contact Us

2011 Report

About the Society

2011 Annual Meeting — Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011
This event occurred near the 157th anniversary of the founding of Topeka. Besides committee reports, approval of the 2010 Annual Meeing minutes and a financial report from our treasurer, new trustees were elected and the group had a demonstration of the new educational White Board first used for this summer's History Camp events.

Hale Ritchie House Tours, then business meeting

Annual Meeting 2011 collage A
Annual Meeting 2011 collage B

2011 SCHS Bulletin The 2011 SCHS Bulletin #85 was introduced: The Capital's Storied Capitols, 1856-1886. Editors were Douglass W. Wallace, Jeanne Christie Mithen, and Chris Meinhardt.

Demonstration of the new educational White Board
Annual Meeting 2011 collage C
Chatting, refreshing and sharing a passion for history
Annual Meeting 2011 collage D

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2011 Open House — Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011
Ritchie House to debut first permanent display
Open house shows Topeka, Shawnee Co. history through eyes of children
See coverage: article by Jen Clark, Topeka Capital-Journal, 11/11/2011

Open House collage A
Open House 2011 collage B

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2011 History Camp for Kids, “Forging Freedom's Pathway” — Weekly camps in June, 2011

Mon. - Fri., 8:30 - 12:00 pm,
located at the Historic John and Mary Jane Ritchie House, 1116 S.E. Madison
Introducing use of the Cox Communications Heritage Education Center, newly restored Hale Ritchie House, 1118 S.E. Madison
"History Camp starts in Ritchie Homes," by Steve Fry, Topeka Capital-Journal, May 15, 2011.

History Camp 2History Camp6/6 “Home on the Range”
Experiencing Pioneer Life

6/20 “Forging Freedom”
The Underground Railroad and Civil Rights

6/27 “The Great Outdoors”
How Weather Effected Our Past

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2011 Savor Topeka Event, “Forging Freedom's Pathway”
— Saturday, June 11, 2011
This event was co-sponsored by Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site and SCHS Ritchie properties, Topeka, 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
See coverage:
"Living history walks scheduled," Topeka Capital-Journal, 5/30/2011.
   "Walks to celebrate civil rights history," Topeka Capital-Journal, 6/9/2011.
   "History comes alive at Brown v. Board Site," Topeka Capital-Journal, 6/11/2011

Buses moved participants from Monroe School to the Ritchie House, where National Park Service rangers walked them back to the school properties, stopping along the way for Lecompton Reenactor presentations representing David Rice Atchison, Clarina Nichols, Buffalo Soldier, Chester Woodward, and Julia Roundtree.

—Select a thumbnail photo to see the larger version—

Deb Goodrich-Bisel and Mary Jane Ritchie Bill Wagnon welcomes visitors to the SCHS Ritchie properties
musical schedule Kaw Valley Cornet Band Let Freedom Sing video coverage of the history walk

“From Civil War to civil rights, Topeka played a role” Topeka Capital-Journal, Sunday, June 12, 2011
Spotted Gallery, candid shots of this event CJonline, Sunday, June 12, 2011
Event photos by Carol Yoho, SCHS web site manager

event sponsors

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2011 Ritchie Renovation Donor Recognition Celebration
— Sunday, May 29, 2011

held at the Hale Ritchie House, newly-renovated at 1118 SE Madison, Topeka, 2 PM

See video coverage, KTKA, Channel 49, "Historic Ritchie House open to the public."

—Select a thumbnail photo to see the larger version—

Set-up for our celebration

Set-up and displays

Socializing indoors

Senator Anthony Hensley speaks

Chris Schultz Anthong Hensley Pamela Hollie Dale Anderson
Chris Schultz, President, SCHS
Anthony Hensley, KS Senate, District 19
Pamela Hollie, Mistress of Ceremonies
Dale Anderson, Ritchie House Capital Campaign
Olivia Simmons Judy Billings Justin Sochacki Jenny Chinn
Olivia Simmons, Visit Topeka
Judy Billings, Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area
Justin Sochacki, National Park Service, Brown v. Board National Historic Site
Jenny Chinn, Kansas State Historical Society
Kevn Singer Vic Miller Larry Wolgast Bill Wagnon
Kevin Singer, Topeka Public Schools
Victor Miller, Shawnee County Commission
Larry Wolgast, Topeka City Council
Bill Wagnon, Ritchie House Capital Campaign manager
Special Recognition:
Bill Wagnon presents special recognitions Barbara Ritchie recognized Larry Wolgast, City Council
Bill Wagnon presents special recognition to Barbara Ritchie, Ritchie Family
Barbara Ritchie accepts recognition from Bill Wagnon
Larry Wolgast accept recognition on behalf of Topeka City Council
Coleen Jennison, Cox Telecommunications Daryl Nickel, renovation specialist Paul R. Schroer accepts for Gene and Anne Schroer
Coleen Jenson accepts recognition on behalf of Cox Communications
Daryl Nickel accepts recognition for his renovation work on both Ritchie houses.
Paul R. Schroer accepts recognition for donation of property by Gene and Anne Schroer.
Chris gesturesChris laughsChris speaks
Kevin Singer with college history textbook KSNT covered our event three video recordings
in the tent Sochacki congratulates Wolgast Bill Wagnon honored
Ritchie pet dog Anthony Hensley, Bill Wagnon and Kevin Singer, armed Coleen Jennison chats with Ritches

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2011 Preservation Awards — Sunday, May 1, 2011
held at the Hale Ritchie House, newly-renovated at 1118 SE Madison, Topeka, 2 PM

The fifth annual joint awards for preservation of sites reflecting the history of Shawnee County were presented by the Shawnee County Historical Society and the Topeka Landmarks Commission.

Guest speakers were John Hunter and Anita Wolgast of the NOTO Fine Arts District project, an effort to revitalize North Topeka with an community of the arts.

SCHS President Chris Schultz Anita Wolgast and John Hunter, event speakers NOTO Project slideshow visual
SCHS President Chris Schultz Speakers Anita Wolgast and John Hunter NOTO slide presentation visual

Chris Schultz, Shawnee County Historical Society President, honored these
2011 SCHS Preservation Award Recipients

Jeff Carson, Gizmo Pictures, Thacher Building Maura and Bud Dingman Barb Quaney and Doug Jones
Jeff Carson and Gizmo Pictures, "Adaptive Reuse of Historic Property," The Thacher Building, 112 SE 8th Av, Topeka. Maura and Bud Dingman, "Historic Preservation and Neighborhood Revitalization," properties at 1100 and 1124 SW Taylor St., Topeka. Barb Quaney and Doug Jones, "Historic Preservation and Neighborhood Revitalization," JQ Historic Properites, Inc., 821 & 825 SW Western Av., Topeka.
NOTO Arts District Board of Directors Gordon Building, Adaptive Use
North Topeka (NOTO) Arts District, Board of Directors, "North Topeka Revitalization Initiative." Mike Fox, Mike Wilson and Daryl Craft, "Adaptive Reuse of Historic Property," the Gordon Building, 900 SW Kansas Av., Topeka.

In addition, the SCHS Preservation Committee also recognized ex-trustee Jack Wisman for his preservation work, particularly in regard to preservation of Topeka Cemetery, Topeka's oldest cemetery. Jack was not able to attend this event.

Robert Banks of the Topeka Landmark Commission recognized Central Congregational Church, on making living history of their ties with Charles Sheldon, Congregational pastor and author of In His Steps, and Deborah Edwards, owner and resident of the John Nelson House, boyhood home of Langston Hughes. Deborah recently suceeded in having the home recognized as a Topeka Historic Landmark.

Central Congregational Church Deborah Edwards Robert Banks
Betty Bomar, right, honors Central Congregational Church for preservation. Robert Banks with honoree Deborah Edwards Robert Banks, of Topeka Landmarks Commission

Presentation begins media was present Standing room only crowd gathered
Deb Goodrich-Bisel honors Dr. Bill Wagnon Bill Wagnon, project coordinator for renovation of both Ritchie Houses NOTO Arts District dignataries
chat 1 chat 2 checking the program chat 3 chat 4 Trustees Jill Wolters and Carlton Scroggins
Bill Wagnon and Jill Wolters Trustees Doug Wallace, Hal Gardner and Deb Goodrich-Bisel chat with Michael Bradley chat 5
crowd 1 crowd 2

Photos for the Preservation Award Event
were provided primarily by Trustee Dave Heinemann and supplimented by Carol Yoho, web site manager.
Building preservation photos (below) are by Trustee Carlton Scroggins.

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2011 building preservation projects honored:

Gordon Building, 900 S Kansas Av
Thacher Building, 112 SE 8th St
Gordon Building, 900 S. Kansas Av.
Thacher Building, 112 SE 8th St.
JQ Properties, 821 SW Western Av
JQ Properities, 825 SW Western Av
JQ Properties, 812 SW Fillmore St. JQ Properties, 821 SW Fillmore St. JQ Properties, 1011 SW 8th St
JQ Properties: 821 SW Western Av, 825 SW Western Av., 812 SW Fillmore St., 821 SW Fillmore St., 1011 SW 8th St.
Dingman, 1100 SW Taylor St
.Dingman,1100 SW Taylor St..
Dingman, 1125 SW Taylor St
Dingman, 1125 SW Taylor St.

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Our Preservation Event was our First Public Event held in the newly renovated Hale Ritchie Home, 1118 SW Madison St., Topeka, new home of SCHS.

Newly renovated Hale Ritchie Home Outdoor display about the Ritchie Homes Both Ritchie Homes
front stairwell upstairs view back stairwell
Rtichie rock wall Hale Ritchie parlor window

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First Use, newly restored Hale Ritchie House Trustee Meeting, April 19, 2011

front door front window Bill Wagnon discusses educational display plans looking down front stairway
hardwood floor renovation upstairs workspace public meeting area
special basement entrance, handicap accessible finishing touches, basement rooms upstairs view of John Ritchie Home
Trustees meet

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Kansas State students tour Ritchie facilities
above: Kansas State students tour Ritchie properties, Nov. 5, 2011

History camp starts in Ritchie homes —by Steve Fry, Topeka Capital-Journal, 5/15/2011
Hale Ritchie House comes alive —by Steve Fry, Topeka Capital-Journal, 11.25/2010

Spring 2011 Open Houses @ John Ritchie House April, 2011

  • Apr. 9 - Egg Hunt & Games
  • Apr. 16 - Open House
  • Apr. 23 -"Terrible Homicide"
  • Apr. 30 - Mary Jane Ritchie

Egg Hunt, April 2011]

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Topeka & Shawnee County, Kansas
About the Society, Shawnee County Historical Society, Topeka and Shawnee County, Kansas
About the Society  
Focus on History
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Educational Initiative



Gary Bisel speaks with Bill Wagnon Kim Morris explains finishing plans Gary climbs the back stairs Gary displays original wood trim that will be returned to place Front stairs, Deb and Betty Preservation sign and Hale Ritchie House exterior View of Ritchie House, north of Hale Ritchie House inspecting progress backyard box of original wood trim large open space South side bay window, looking outside South side bay window, exterior Special castings as thank-you gifts to special donors Carlton Scroggins checks list of donors Help with our signage Attendees read display Renovation display, Ritchie House Our tent Renovation display, Hale Ritchie house Ritchie and Hale Ritchie houses housing details preserved membership form and programs of days events Chris Schultz and his mother prepare reception drinks samples of displays to come discussing home renovations Memoria window plaque memorializing Mary Ritchie Jarboe Ritchie family photos Ritchie wedding and birth recrods welcome mat fireplace Handicap access to basement area signing in chatting in the parlor more chat healthy history discussion Kim brought her dad, Mr. Morse Dave Heinemann, photographer reception desk more chatting chatting by displays Barbara Rtichie and her family Anthony Hensley assists Kevin Singer with firearms demo nice sized crowd standing ovation for Bill Wagnon, the driving force of the Ritchie renovation project SCHS President Chris Schultz talks with KSNT-TV Senator Anthony Hensley speaks rapt attention Bill Wagnon honors Barbara Rtichie Ritchie family, Coleen Jennison of Cox Communications, Senator Anthony Hensley and SCHS President Chris Schultz National Park building and part rangers historic neighborhood walk Check-in for programs and free travel tickets David Rice Atchison talks the pro-slavery line buses wait to transport participants to Ritchie houses Julia Roundtree, teacher Chester Woodwood, Topeka School Board Clarina Nichols, suffragist and free-stater David Rice Atchison, pro-slavery stand SCHS President Chris Schultz welcomes members New meeting space, Cox Communications Heritage Education Center Traditional Christmas tree in bay window Stairwell Visiting history fans Chris Schultz manages meeting Parlor display area View of backyard and I-70 highway to the east of Ritchie property SCHS treasurer Joan Wagnon Ritchie property supporter Bill Wagnon Smart Board demonstrator Doug Wright Observing attendees Ted discussing the painting of fireplugs Doug enlarges an area of the Smart Board screen Recent tornadic activities History of the 1966 Topeka Tornado Tie to L. Frank Baum's tornado story Weather map The storm legend of Chief Burnett and Burnett's Mound Greensburg, KS, tornado, 2007 Egg hunt 1 Found eggs Spring pinata Egg hunters Bill Wagnon Displays in parlor Visiting Debra Bisel checks the board Ramon Powers tries the new technology John Ritchie and Hale Ritchie properties of the Shawnee County Historical Society Visitor enjoys the displayed stories of local history In the parlor display room Historical photo of the John Ritchie home John and Mary Jane Ritchie portriat photos Bill Wagnon greets guest in the John Ritchie home Visitors enjoy the new displays SCHS's new Smart Board on display Louis's story on the parlor wall Louis Torrez and his neice, Cynthia Gonzales