Grenola Elevator Museum Elk County

Welcome to the Grenola Elevator Museum

Grenola Historical Society
Grenola, KS
(620) 358-3241
You can Become a Member.  


Thursday through Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Grenola was formed in 1879 when the two communities of Greenfield and Canola relocated along the new railroad line.  The community for a time was a rowdy cowtown, being a major shipping point for the cattle driven north from Oklahoma and Texas.  Later, in the early 1900s, the discovery of oil and gas in the area made Grenola a bustling business place. By 1920, the population had risen to 1500.
The museum has indexed the Greenlawn Cemetery - copies can be purchased for $20.00.
In addition the museum has an extensive obituary collection as well as listings of Grenola Veterans of the Civil War, WWI and WWII.
The Grenola Mill and Elevator was established in 1909 and served the community until 1986.  On May 12,1990, the structure was opened as the home of the Grenola Historical Society Museum.  The museum preserves and depicts the history of Grenola with scenes of early day life and photographic displays of early settlers of Grenola.

The mill and elevator itself have all working parts intact for viewing.  The office contains a Mosler safe moved there when the Grenola State Bank closed in 1936.  The two large store rooms house the wagons, buggies, farm implements, blacksmith tools, saddles, and household items that have been donated or loaned by current and former Grenola residents.  Many of the artifacts are in display in period rooms, which include a kitchen, parlor, bedroom, doctor's office, general store, post office, and classroom.  Pictures from surrounding country schools and Grenola High School, and yearbooks from 1913 on can be examined in the classroom display.

The covered wagon was donated by the Jake McClure family, who were among the first donors to the museum.  Other items provided by the McClures include a surrey, grocery wagon, 1934 Chevy, two harness sets, and other articles from early-day farms and ranches.

The blacksmith shop was once as common as the gas station.  Much of this equipment was used by the late Charles "Chalk" Stiles.

The kitchen display features a Montgomery Ward wood range, Ice Palace ice box, Ideal cabinet, and many smaller items, including ten flatirons, from early Grenola homes.

Another collection shows some of the tools early housewives wielded to keep their homes and families clean and comfortable.

Many area residents contributed items for this parlor tableau, which features a hand-crank telephone, a fainting couch, and an Edison phonograph which plays cylinders.  Museum visitors are often entertained with the old-time music.

The founders of Grenola were Civil War veterans, and many Grenola citizens served their country in the wars that followed.  Their names, photographs, and war artifacts are on display, even a water-cooled machine gun from World War I.

Microfilm of all Grenola newspapers published from 1879 to 1951, three microfilm readers, and a copier were donated by Mr. Floyd Sweet of Underground Vault and Storage.  The microfilm is available to all.

Become a Member

We welcome your membership in the Grenola Historical Society.  The society is a not-for-profit organization formed in August 1989.  Our mission is to preserve and display Grenola's history for the enjoyment of young and old, free of charge.  Your support helps preserve Grenola's past for future generations.

Grenola Historical Society Membership

Membership price: $10 

Enclosed is my contribution of $_____________




Mail to: Grenola Historical Society, P.O. Box 111, Grenola, KS 67346

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Last updated August 4, 2005 · by John & Susan Howell · Wichita, Kansas ·

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