The Solomon Valley. . .A Land of Fascinating Kansas Treasures to Explore

 

 

Museums
Along the Solomon Valley

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Sheridan County
Hoxie
Tasco
Cottonwood Ranch
Studley
    
Graham County
Morland
Penokee
Hill City
Bogue
Nicodemus
  
Rooks County
Damar
Webster State Park
Webster
Stockton
Woodston
  
Osborne County
Alton
Bloomington
Osborne
Portis
Downs
 
Mitchell County
Cawker City
Glen Elder
Glen Elder State Park
Solomon Rapids
Beloit
Asherville
Simpson
 
Cloud County
Glasco

 


Thank You...for Visiting Our Museums!

Select below to learn more about their museum.
 



Cloud County

  • Glasco Historical Museum   
    118 E. Main Street, Glasco, KS 67445
    Contact:  Marlene Grittman: 785-568-2467

Museum Musings --The first planning meeting for our Glasco Community Historical Society was in March 1997. We acquired the former Glasco Men’s Club on Main Street. Much repair was needed. We installed a new metal roof, new floor, and exposed the inside rock west wall. Some windows were closed in, and we replaced two doors on the rear of the building. The restroom was replaced and enlarged. We have a new heating and air conditioning system. Some repair was done to the outside rock walls and the basement entry door was replaced. The building was rewired and new lighting and fans installed.

 

We have many interesting displays. We have an extensive collection of military uniforms and memorabilia, including over 400 pictures of area military veterans in their uniforms. We have many advertising items given by Glasco businesses through the years, and a large collection of hand tools. We have displays describing Polly Dell fabric painting stencils and Trailcraft Canoe information. These two businesses were started in Glasco. There are many other items and pictures on display.

 

We meet once a month, the second Thursday morning, 7:30 a.m. at the Pepper Pot café in Glasco for a breakfast meeting. Our meetings are open to the public. We do not receive any tax money. We are proud of what we have accomplished with volunteers, dues, donations, and memorials. We are a 501(c)3 organization. Visitors are always welcome. If you would like to visit our museum, please call 785-568-2467 or 785-568-2410. These numbers and others are posted on our front door and these members will open the museum for visitors.

 

by Marlene Grittman        
President, Glasco Community Historical Society

 



Graham County       

Also See
Morland (Museum Musings)
509 W. Main, Morland
 

Also See Graham County Oil Museum   
800 West Highway 24, Hill City, KS 67642 -- 785-421-5621


Graham County Historical Society Museum -- Hill City

103 E. Cherry, Hill City, 67642   --  785-421-2854
Graham County Historical Society & Museum  
 

Museum Musings -- At the end of September 1971, a notice appeared in the Hill City Times inviting “all interested parties” to attend the October 2 organizational meeting of the Graham County Historical Society. The seven individuals who appeared at that first meeting and a number of local history aficionados who soon joined the group drafted a mission statement, drafted a constitution, and applied for a charter. Thus the groundwork was laid for the organization that developed the museum and association archival repository.

Soon after organizing, the Society made its first acquisitions: a tape recorder was purchased to collect both facts and lore from the county’s “old timers” and a single file cabinet was secured. Then the group’s goal “to discover and collect materials to illustrate the history of the area” began. Early in 1972 Jennie Dunwoody, a longtime common school teacher in Graham County, donated a number of early photographs of county scenes, and Della Grantham offered her pristine copies of historical editions of the Hill City Times. These were the first of the Society’s thousands of accessions.

In its formative years the historical group was quite literally an organization without a home. Public meetings and executive council sessions were held at the county administrative facility, including district courtroom, jury room, and commissioners’ meeting area.

It was not until the new Graham County Public Library was constructed in the 1970s–an effort spearheaded by Margaret and John Moore, charter members of the Historical Society–that the group acquired a permanent abode. The basement room, 890 square feet, and its fireproof fault, 580 square feet, were, within 20 years, packed with historical bounty.

Early in the current decade a larger facility became available when a commodious building constructed to house the U.S. Department of Agriculture offices and later utilized by an area telephone company was vacated. The building’s owners, a Great Bend construction-investment group, made the 3,780-square-foot building available, and the Historical Society had a spacious home.

Currently the building features a large general display area with additional rooms specifically devoted to military, school, farm, vintage clothing, and library-research interests. Still another room, plus the walls of the Society’s meeting room, is devoted exclusively to the presentation of one of the state’s most comprehensive displays of quilts.

The law library of W. L. Sayers, a renowned African-American attorney, has been donated to the museum by the Sayers family; the vast collection of historical family items of Konrad Hocker, including antique glass, is displayed; and the medical instruments of four extraordinarily popular and successful Graham County doctors are available for public scrutiny.

Recently memorials honoring a number of local citizens have been “earmarked” to provide funds for display purchases; additional contributions have enable the Society to purchased desperately-needed storage for the library-housed GCHS archives, a separate facility which constitutes a “paper repository” of well over 100 years of newspaper issues, countless priceless photographs, files of common school records, a large number of family histories, cemetery and obituary records, organization minutes, settlements’ histories, and various other historical records.

A concentrated effort is being made to publicize the museum and archives: various service groups and other clubs have held meetings at the museum (including the Solomon Valley Hwy 24 Heritage Alliance), school groups have toured  the museum, and sundry activities of the Society are publicized in an effort to make its work and offerings both visible and viable. Additionally, interested volunteers from the Society, Graham County Arts Council, and the community at large are preparing for the second annual autumn cemetery “Speaking Stones Tour,” an informative and nostalgic tribute to outstanding and interesting personalities from the county’s past.

The museum at 103 East Cherry is open on both Friday and Saturday of each week from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and the archives at 414 North West, are accessible on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Additionally, these individuals will avail themselves to anyone desiring access to the GCHS’s facilities at other times: Anita Middleton, 421-2448; Betty Elliott, 421-2543; Elsie Brandyberry, 421-5730; and Jan and Lowell Beecher, 421-5421. E-mail inquiries may be addressed to queenb@ruraltel.net.  We hope you will visit our splendid museum.

 

by Lowell Beecher                                                                                                             Back to Top 

 



Graham County
Morland Community Foundation Inc. -- Morland

509 W. Main, Morland

 

Museum Musings -- In 1922 a fire destroyed a main street building in Morland known as the Opera House. This beautiful building housed several retail businesses and the two local banks. In 1923 an article in the county newspaper states that the Morland State Bank is being rebuilt to be “completely fireproof.” Today that austere concrete and steel building, located at Main and Tiger, is one of two locations housing historical collections and displays donated by local residents to the Morland Community Foundation.

 

Items that might be of special interest to visitors include the small wooden U. S. Post Office window, wooden door mailboxes, and mail sorting-boxes from the town of Fremont. Fremont existed from 1881 until 1892 when the name was officially changed to Morland.

 

Katherine (Pratt) Mermis collected milk glass while traveling Western Kansas with her husband during the 1930s. He was appointed by the State Bank Commissioner to close banks during the Great Depression, and she spent her idle time browsing shops and businesses looking for pieces of milk glass. Before her death, Mrs. Mermis donated the extensive glass collection to the Foundation.

 

A second location is the former USD 280 Superintendent's office located at 509 W. Main, Morland. The USD 281 Board of Education donated the building to the Foundation after USD 280 closed. The Board of Education donated the Morland High School memorabilia consisting of trophies, awards, class pictures, etc., to the Morland Alumni Association. The Foundation is pleased to be able to partner with the Alumni Association in preserving the memorabilia, along with the histories of the Morland schools. These displays are of special interest to those who attended Morland schools.

 

The facilities can be toured by contacting the Citizens State Bank at 511 W. Main or by calling 785-627-5345.

 

Another site in Morland that has been equated to a museum is known as the “Old Kobler Drug Store.” Albert and Anna Kobler operated a pharmacy, variety store, and soda fountain in the building from 1929 to 1957. The first floor has been renovated and decorated with historical items from the area. “Prairie Junction,” as it is now called, is a full-service restaurant open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Those that enjoy a bit of nostalgia and reminiscing will find cattle brands of local ranchers, cast iron implement seats, numerous advertising products from local businesses, and many other antique items. Visitors enjoy trying to identify some of these objects. There are some items displayed that have stumped even the most knowledgeable old timers.

 

by Faye Minium                                                                                                            Back to Top 

 



Mitchell County


 Mitchell County Museum -- Beloit
402 W. Eighth, Beloit, KS 67420  --  785-738-5355
1 - 4 p.m. Tues., Wed. & Friday & 1:30 - 5 p.m. Saturday
Mitchell County Museum  

   

 

Mitchell County Museum Transition  (April, 2009)

by Kyle Peterson
[Kyle Peterson is director of the Mitchell County Museum.]

 

The Mitchell County Museum has made changes to its long-term business plan that reflect the current changing rural Kansas economic status. Since last we reported to the Alliance, we found through fundraising statistics that the new museum complex plans became out of reach. Our new plans do include a new museum, but we have had to come up with a different approach about reaching our goals.
 

This is what we have done and what is now in progress. Last year the society purchased the Beloit American Legion building which is 10,427 square feet and of that 3,367 square feet is basement. This basement has a 9-foot ceiling and is tornado and fire proof. The purchase of this building and the remodeling of it will be far cheaper than the construction of a new building. Plus, the building location is directly west of our current living-history project property.
 

Instead of the old 2.5 million dollar project, we can finish the new project under half a million. This will give us a large banquet and meeting room, kitchen, revolving display space, historic library, several offices, static display space, two handicap accessible bathrooms, large storage room, restoration room, large open greeting foyer, and gift shop. The large 2304 square feet of open revolving display space will have folding display walls that can be folded up to open the floor space for large gatherings or dances. This space includes a large stage platform.
 

The current space we occupy on Eighth Street is owned by the Mitchell County Hospital and they do not want to give the historical society the building. They have given us as long as needed to move. As of today, we need to raise the $200,000 to get the essentials done to the new museum site, so we can move and have some displays open.
 

The key is money. If anyone out there that would like to come and see our plans for the Mitchell County Museum Complex, we would be glad to give you the tour and be more than happy to accept a contribution. Our phone number is 785-738-5355. This is a critical time to preserve the history of Mitchell County and the Solomon Valley.

 

Museum Musings --This regular column features information about a particular museum and a guide to museum events in the Solomon Valley. Kyle Peterson is director of the Mitchell County Museum in Beloit.

 

The Mitchell County Museum in Beloit had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with a new program that started last fall. The SV24 Heritage Alliance brought together all the museums in the valley to see if we could find a way to work together to benefit each other. They brought in a consultant, Margaret Stanton from Troy, KS, to help answer questions and bring suggestions to each museum. She identified ways to bring out the best for each of us. Now we can start with .fresh ideas and possibly a way to start our own museum alliance of the Solomon Valley.

 

Margaret Stanton identified several things that we here at the Mitchell County Museum need to be looking at. First, updating our inventory database to a Past-perfect program, a more digitally-based system. Second, utilizing archival product companies to update how we tag artifacts. Third, showing us how we need a disaster preparedness, management, and response program. All three of these main issues are being looked at by me and the Mitchell County Historical Society board. It will take some time to address these large issues.

 

The Mitchell County Historical Society is in the planning stages of building a new museum at a new location. At our current location, we cannot keep the high standards that are required to preserve artifacts. Margaret's suggestions have really helped us see the need for a new facility now, rather than later.

 

I am the current Mitchell County Museum Director. I am hosting the first workshop for the Valley museum group. This is the second phase for us museums to come together to see how we want to pursue after all of this gained knowledge. In the upcoming workshop, I will present a program on school and museum collaboration. For some time now, I have been putting together a local history based curriculum. This is where students develop and create projects based on local history. The first step of development is working directly with their museum or historical entity. I will present to the museums in the Valley ways that will make it easy for them to handle student museum research relationships.

 

I would like for the museums to bring to the work shop a list of current available resources that they offer. Also, museums need to bring a list of area attractions that may be of interest to a student. This workshop will do several things: bring the valley museums together, hopefully to develop an alliance to continue cooperation; help

strengthen their own research and archival ability; get interest from outside sources, which could lead to funding or volunteerism; and help incorporate more student activity with their local organizations.

 

I would welcome not just the Valley's Museums, but other interested parties that would be interested in seeing a great vision like this grow. We can only strengthen our own organization by doing this. It will also help travel, tourism, and community stability.  The workshop will be held at the Mitchell County Museum at 402 W 8th Street in Beloit on April 3 at 10:OO AM. This is the large 3-story brick building that sits behind the current Mitchell County Hospital. We will break for an hour and a half lunch at 11:30 AM. There are several restaurants available. Please call with questions, our number here is 785-738-5355. We hope every museum in the Valley will be represented.

 

by Kyle Peterson, director of the Mitchell County Museum in Beloit                          Back to Top 

 


 
Osborne County
Osborne County Museum, Inc
-- Osborne

Junction ...US-24 & US-281  --  785-346-2881 or 785-346-2798
Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day 

 

Museum Musings -- The Osborne County Museum Complex includes the museum building, which was the Santa Fe Railroad Depot, the one-room school building, District No. 1, and a collection of very old (very rusty) farm machinery.

 

The museum was begun by the Osborne Genealogical and Historical Society. In June 1983 the Society purchased the old depot for $80.00. It was moved to the present site in August 1984. After many hours of volunteer labor, the building was dedicated with a grand opening on September 21, 1985.

 

The No. 1 School was given to the Osborne County Museum with the stipulation that it be moved to the museum complex. This was done. Again volunteers were busy with the many things needing to be done as the building had been used to store hay and cattle feed and cattle had been inside the building. After many hours of work, the school house was dedicated with a grand opening on September 9, 1995.

 

The school district was organized in March 1872. The first building was log with a sod and prairie hay roof. In 1885 a frame building was built, but by 1912 a larger building was ended so the present building was built. School was held from 1872 through the 1960-1961 school term, when the building was closed. During this time four generations of the Chauncey Bliss family attended No. 1 school.

 

The museum contains a large variety of items, including kitchen ware, china cabinet and dishes, the wooden telephone booth from the Sunflower Inn, clothing, doctor items, telephones, typewriters, Civil War rifles, tools, car tags, potholders, etc. Two of the most recent donations are a “kitchen” clock that was purchased by Charles E. McFadden in 1903 and a stockman’s pocket watch which belonged to Ray Towne. There are many old text books in the school house. Some of these were in use when I began my teaching career in this building in the fall of 1952.

 

Our next project will begin in the spring when a 12’ x 12’ storage shed will be built, thanks to the McFadden and the Sarver Trust Funds.

 

The museum, located at 929 N 2nd St, has a seven-member board of directors which meets once a month. Regular hours are Monday through Thursday, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day. Appointments are welcome and may be made by calling 785-346-2798 or, if you come by and want to visit, just call one of the numbers posted in the window.

 

by Eileen Wilson                                                                                                               Back to Top 

 



Rooks County


Frank Walker Museum & Rooks County Historical Society
921 S. Cedar, (P. O. Box 43) Stockton, KS 67669  --  785-425-7217

 

Museum Musings --This year (2006) we celebrated the 30th year of our Historical Society and the 20th year of having a museum in Stockton. It all started in 1973 when the PRIDE Committee met to discuss organizing a countywide historical society. In August 1974, State Historical Society officer Robert Richmond, grandson of a Stockton doctor, met as a consultant with 13 interested individuals and  recommended the name Rooks County Historical Society. A motion to that effect was made and carried.

 

In 1975, the society was incorporated with meetings held in the courthouse with limited privileges as all but one show case of memorabilia was stored in homes of society members. In 1976 they took the responsibility of the Old Log Hotel replica which was built for the Kansas Centennial, where they housed some of their artifacts and was open to the public on special occasions. In 1977, they started gathering information prior to the year 1911 to publish in a book of Rooks County history which grew to two volumes titled Lest We Forget and published in 1980 (reprinted in 1998 and still available).

 

That same year a county tax levy was granted and plans were made for a Rooks County Museum which was completed in 1984. In 1991, they asked the county for funds to build an addition for storage, but the idea was tabled due to a shortage of funds. In February 1993, Frank Walker, a local individual who had benefited from the Stockton oil boom, offered funds to build a new museum if a site could be located along Hwy 183. Work on the new building started in 1994 and the first meeting in the new museum was in February 1995. After the fire that consumed the Big Barn north of Woodston, the Classic Big Barn Association donated a draft-horse sculpture by Pete Felton and funds for landscaping to the museum. After this was completed the dedication of the building and a “Thank You, Frank” celebration was held in June, 1998.

 

Some of the displays included in the museum today include: archeology items, one-room school, doctor's office, beauty parlor, barber shop, kitchen, living room, general store with post office, livery stable, the Woodston telephone central, the Plainville jail, room full of dolls, car tag collection, and a music room which includes instruments from the traveling Fuller Concert Co. Recent temporary displays have been: wedding and formal wear; World War II items, quilts, aprons, advertising, school memorabilia, vintage motorcycles, Modern Woodmen drill team photos and video, Olive Reed/Schafer memorabilia, World War I items, Rooks County Fair, and Webster Dam 50th Anniversary.

 

We have: presented a Kansas Day program enjoyed by around 400 school children with 20 portrayals of Kansas characters; received a small grant to purchase archival supplies so items can be freed from the cardboard boxes; received funds to purchase computer software to list all items collected for research purposes; found Birger Sandzen and Grant Wood paintings and a set of Civil War diaries when digging through storage boxes; had “picture parties” to identify photos, sorted by family, towns, and categories, which have been filed; and currently are sorting items to de-accession to fulfill the responsibility as written in our mission statement “to collect, preserve, and interpret the artifacts, writings and history reflecting the development and cultural diversity of Rooks County.”

 

The museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00 and by appointment. Volunteer work nights are Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Regular meetings are held the 3rd Sunday of each month (except August and December) at 2:00 p.m. at the museum meeting room, with special quarterly programs, the public always welcome. A newsletter is published quarterly. Dues are $5 for individual, $10 for family (send to Rooks County Historical Society, 913 S. Cedar, Stockton KS 67669); add $3 to receive the newsletter. 

 

by Jean Lindsey                                                                                                                   Back to Top 

 



Sheridan County


Also Visit Mickey's Museum  
Highway 24, Hoxie, KS 67740 --  785-675-3501 
  

Sheridan County Museum 
1224 Oak, Hoxie, KS 67740 --  785-675-3501

 

Museum Musings -- The main building of the Mickey Museum complex was built in 1963, by Vernon and Isabelle Mickey, as a replica of an early-day hardware store. Vernon furnished it with old display cases and merchandise as they did in the family’s original store building of Mickey Hardware. This building houses a large variety of items showing the growth and change of the county through the years. 

 

Soon one building proved to be inadequate so another building was constructed. Originally this building was used for storage of the growing collection.

 

In 1983, the Bee Hive school house from the Studley area was moved to the complex. The school house is furnished as one would expect to see in the early 1900’s. Visitors can now visit the one-room schoolhouse and experience the past. The school district was in session from 1897-1953, using this building for a majority of those years. Though the country school is a thing of the past, the memories linger on. While you are in the school you cannot help but hear the stories being told by the artifacts that have watched countless students reach new heights.

 

In January 1994, Vernon Mickey donated Mickey’s Museum to Sheridan County. Years of artifacts had been collected by Vernon and Isabelle Mickey.  It was then that the Sheridan County Historical Society was named the caretaker.

 

In 1997 the two buildings were connected to house the Sheridan County Historical Society office which was moved from the courthouse. Having both entities in the same place helped increase interest by opening the museum to the public on a regular basis for the first time in its existence.

 

Currently, the second building is a work in progress. We have received a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council which we are using to clean, catalogue, and display items from the original collection.

 

Residents of the area donate to the ever-growing collection on a regular basis. To help with the ongoing process, the museum and historical society have hired a new employee.  Jennifer Spresser, also a board member, is now in the process of evaluating the Mickey’s Museum collection, cataloging procedures, and visioning the displays.  She will be working four days a week.  We think she’s got it now, she is LOSING sleep thinking of ideas.

 

Mickey’s Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 8:30-12:00 and 1:30-4:00 or by appointment. Stop in and visit us. We are located at 1224 Oak (Highway 24) in Hoxie, or you can reach us at 785-675-3501. You can also visit us on our website: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ksschs
 

by Jennifer Spresser                                                                                                            Back to Top 
[Jennifer Spresser is director of the museum and a member of the board of SV24.]

 

Stories Of Land Of Man Of Nature