Spring 2013 Newsletter


February 2013

As I write this newsletter today (Feb. 22nd), the sun is reflecting off the bright white SNOW. We didn’t get the big snow the weatherman predicted for us, but it was good snow cover and welcome moisture. Those of us who have been around awhile know that winter is not over. I’m not forecasting an Easter blizzard, but two of the most memorable blizzards in my lifetime started on the 23rd of March – one in 1957 and another in 1987. (Easter is March 31st . . .)

After spending part of an afternoon writing the newsletter, I hit the wrong key and watched it all disappear! Computers! It’s a love-hate relationship, isn’t it? I sure don’t want to go back to the typewriter, but sometimes my brain works faster than my fingers and I get into trouble. (And did you really need to know that?)

Let’s see – where was I? Oh yes, I started with the delightful Christmas Open House, held this year on December 16th. That later date seemed to work out well for our visitors, with about 75 coming out to enjoy the wintery afternoon. The tables were loaded with cookies and candies for the Sugar Plum sale, which brought in just under $700. A big thank you to all who provided those goodies and to all who bought them. Another thanks to everyone who helped throughout the day. Our December and January visitors enjoyed Tina Walker’s large collection of teapots and the little display of children’s tea sets belonging to Brenda Cejda.

Once again we have been given some unique treasures, now on display in the museum gallery. The large case just outside the temporary gallery holds an extraordinary collection of Indian artifacts gathered over many years by Dean Fairchild. This includes arrowheads, spear points, etc., many found in Scott County. And just to the left of that display is a beautiful 1915 pump organ, given to us by the Marcy family. The organ was used in the old Catholic Church in Marienthal, and was sold at auction when the new church was built. Frank Marcy bought it at that time and the Marcy family has enjoyed it for many years. It is in excellent condition and you are welcome to “pump it up” and play it yourself.

Jerry Thomas continues to add paintings and artifacts to the Thomas Gallery. If you haven’t been in there for awhile, you need to come by and see the many new things now on display.

More than 1700 visitors signed the guest register in 2012. Over 1321 were from Kansas, 360 from out of state, and 31 from other countries. We appreciate it if you’ll sign the guest book each time you come in. Those numbers are important – especially when seeking grant funding. We hope to have many more visitors this year, and encourage you to bring your guests out to enjoy our fine museum and the outstanding Jerry Thomas Gallery & Collection.

There is also a guest register in the kiosk at Battle Canyon. Please stop and sign in there too. It is important to know how many visit the historic site. Out of town visitors are good about signing in, but we know there are many local visitors who don’t stop at the kiosk.

We played host to around 60 fourth graders from the local elementary school on Kansas Day (January 29th). It’s always fun to provide tours for school children. They are curious and often ask questions that catch us off guard! For that tour, we set up a Kansas display in the temporary gallery, which you may enjoy through March.

Our next special event at the museum will be in April (After Winter – After Easter) The Annual Meeting of the Scott County Historical Society will be Sunday, April 21st, at 2:00 p.m. There will be a short business meeting followed by what promises to be a delightful program. Once again, we have a program provided by the Kansas Humanities Council Speaker’s Bureau. Erika Nelson will present “The Tall-Tale Postcards of Dad Martin and Pop Conard.” These men were pioneers of the postcard printing business from the early 1900’s through 1940. Their cleverly crafted images promoted Kansas as a land where ears of corn grew so large that farmers used logging saws to slice them, and monster grasshoppers could stop a train in its tracks! I’m sure you have seen some of those highly doctored postcards. Sounds like a fun program, doesn’t it?

And we’ll participate in June Jaunt, the celebration of Highway 96, on May 31st, June 1st and 2nd. We’ll be presenting History on the Highway again, with Everett Green bringing a program on the railroad history of this area. Everett has a real passion for this part of our history and has done extensive research. We will also offer the guided bus tour to the historic sites in the State Park on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. Watch for details in the newspaper and other mailings.

In the meantime, we’re open every afternoon, Monday through Friday from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., but if you have guests visiting and would like an off-hours tour, give us a call. We are happy to give tours, if staff is available.

Dennie Siegrist: 874-1559 or Patsi: 872-3523




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