Scott County Historical Society

August Newsletter

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August 2019

Wow!  Summer in Spades!  Hmm, I wonder what that means.  If you know, give me a call.

Of course it’s hot.  It’s August.  It’s Kansas.  And, just between you and me, I’ll take this over ice and snow any day. . .


Summer visitation has been good, and the guest book has been signed with folks from many states, but also by visitors from the U K, Spain, Wales, Brazil, South Africa, Italy and Japan.  We enjoy spending time with our visitors, often around the table with coffee cups in hand.  Without exception, they express appreciation for our beautiful galleries and our unique history.


The June Jaunt brought a nice crowd out to hear Matt Bain give us the latest progress report on Little Jerusalem, our newest Kansas State Park.  Everyone is eager to get onto that site, but it is still not open.  Possibly by Labor Day.  We’ll get the word out when that happens.


The local Quilts of Valor organization held another ceremony honoring military veterans in our meeting room in July.  It is our privilege to be able to furnish a place for these ceremonies to be held.  Forms for nomination of veterans to be recognized may be picked up at the museum.  And in that regard, we still want photos of service men and women, in uniform, for our photo collection.  Any era, any branch of service.  We do not need to keep your originals, but please, please help us preserve this historic collection.


Stephanie Fisher and Linda Armstrong designed and conducted a three-day Pioneer Camp for kids at the end of July.  The One Room Schoolhouse theme was carried out by creating such a classroom in the temporary gallery.  Old school desks were on loan from several families, and the gallery cases were filled with old schoolroom memorabilia; a display created by the children during their classroom time.  A reception was held on Saturday afternoon, so the public could view the display.  Guest speaker, Deb Lawrence, shared her extensive research into Scott County’s many one-room schools, and explained the project currently underway to restore the old schoolhouse (the Epler School) near the south entrance of the State Park.  It was a delightful afternoon, and the one-room school display will remain in place for some time.  Be sure to come check it out.


We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the sculpture-in-progress of Maria DeGeer.  Our own ‘local’ artist, Jerry Thomas, will be working on that statue in the Jerry Thomas Gallery, and we are all invited to watch him create the statue of our town founder, which will be unveiled during the all-school reunion next June.  We’ll let you know when Maria gets here!


Another first-time-ever event to look forward to is the display of artwork by local artists, beginning November 29th and ending December 8th.  Sponsored by the Scott County Arts Council, any local artist may be included in this showing.  Artwork will be placed throughout the museum gallery.  Rules and entry forms are available in The Scott County Record, or for more information contact Glenda Graham, 620 872-5728.


But that’s way down the line, with plenty of summer left and many good days for you to visit El Quartelejo Museum and the Jerry Thomas Gallery & Collection.  We know that you, as members of the historical society, have visited both galleries; some of you regularly, but we encourage you to invite your friends and family to come spend some time with us.   And keep in mind our lovely gift shop – unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for all ages, and the ever-popular Jerry Thomas prints, as well.  We may be the only place in town selling Kansas post cards. 


Fundraising is a top priority for both the Maria DeGeer statue and the schoolhouse restoration project.  These are important historic projects for our community.  Donations may be made to either or both through the Scott Community Foundation, 210 West 4th St., Scott City, KS 67871.


We are saddened by the loss of members, Carol McKinney and Loren Janzen.  


Please welcome new members Bob McCullough of Phoenix, Arizona, and Travis and Melissa Herbelin and family, who are new residents of Scott City.


We may not say it often enough, but we are so grateful for everything you do to support the work we do.  Your gifts of time, service (cookies) and funds are equally vital and we thank you!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

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April 2019 Newsletter

Looks like Spring finally tiptoed in and decided to stick around. Don't you love to see the haze of green in the tree tops and the clouds of white in the flowering trees and shrubs! Sunshine is so welcome after our long, challenging winter.

We always know winter is over when visitation suddenly increases at the museum. Just this week we have had visitors from Arizona, Texas, New York, Florida, and New Mexico, along with some from around the area. We are ready for guests, with a new exhibit in the museum temporary gallery, and with several exciting new additions to the Jerry Thomas Gallery & Collection. If you didn't make it to the annual meeting of the historical society, come check it all out.

The annual meeting, on Sunday, April 7th, was well-attended and delightfully entertained with another of Sara Jane Richter's excellent presentations. All of us remembered fondly the TV cowboys she highlighted in "Shoot 'em ups on the Small Screen." What fun! During the business session, Jerry Thomas was re-elected to a three-year term on the historical society board of directors.

The May calendar is filling up with end-of-school tours, with even a couple this month. A group of 60 high school students and their teachers and aides toured the museum on April 15th, with tour guides Don Cotton, Alan Graham and Jerry Thomas. They also took the Battle Canyon tour with Dennie Siegrist and Larry Hoeme and the Buffalo tour with Richard Duff. The historic sites guided bus tours are funded by Scott County Travel & Tourism, and we are so grateful for that vital assistance. Volunteers help with the museum tours and we certainly appreciate them, as well.

The Quilts of Valor group honored eight veterans at El Quartelejo Museum on March 23rd, and another ceremony will be held here on May 18th, at 2:00 p.m. These are memorable ceremonies and I encourage you to come support this worthwhile project.

Our next regular museum event will be the June Jaunt, Saturday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. with guest speaker, Matt Bain, who will have the latest information about the newest state park – Little Jerusalem. Put this on your calendar NOW.

The Historic Sites Guided Bus Tour will be a part of June Jaunt, as well. It will leave the museum parking lot at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 2nd. This excellent tour is free and open to the public, but you need to make reservations.

Call 620-872-5912 now to get your name on the list. Don't miss this great tour.

During the annual meeting, Jerry Thomas announced that the unveiling of the bronze sculpture of Maria DeGeer, the founder of Scott City, will take place during the 2020 all-school reunion. Even more exciting, Jerry plans to work on that sculpture right here in his gallery and we are invited to watch the artist at work! Funding for this important statue is ongoing and donations may be made through the Scott Community Foundation.

Stephanie Fisher also announced plans for a summer workshop for children. Ages 6-12 are invited to experience life at the One Room Schoolhouse. This program will be a 3-day camp, July 31st to August 2nd. Kids will learn about One Room Schoolhouses of Scott County while creating a display as well as experiencing a day in the Schoolhouse. Midwest Energy's is co-sponsoring this camp with a grant through their Community Fund. Stephanie is also developing a History STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Camp for Teens in early August. Watch for details in upcoming emails and FaceBook.

We welcome new member, Carol Trout.

We had to say goodbye to members, Duane Williams and Louise Crist. They both enjoyed the museum and supported the historical society, and they will be missed.


Quilts of Valor: Saturday - May 18 – 2:00 p.m.

June Jaunt: Saturday - June 1 – 2:00 p.m.

Historic Sites Guided Bus Tour: Sunday - June 2 – 1:00 p.m.



February Newsletter


February Newsletter – 2019

Early February – the sun is shining brightly on the remaining piles of snow left over from those December and January snow storms.  For a while, it looked as though we would have snow hills on the back of every parking lot and vacant lot in town until spring, but there is noticeable thawing taking place now, and no snow in the immediate forecast.  But, Hey! It’s Kansas . . .

Since the last newsletter went out in early November, we haven’t had a chance to report on the great response we received from the Scott Community Foundation’s second annual Giving Day.  Thanks to your generous gifts, it was an excellent fundraiser for the historical society, adding $3,360.00 to our Foundation account.   Thanks to all who contributed through that unique event.

Many thanks, as well, for your help with the Sugar Plum Sale on December 16th.  The weather was fair, tables were loaded, and the crowd was good.  Actually, the crowd was early and eager!  By 2:00 p.m., the goodies were drastically reduced and late-comers were a bit disappointed to find limited selections.  It seemed like a long afternoon until we could finally draw for prizes.

Prizes were won by Karen Compton (Tava’s German Chocolate cake), Celia Fouser (Historical Society’s candy basket), Marilyn Dryer (Dean Fairchild’s handcrafted angel candleholder), Barb Dickhut (Suzy B’s Christmas fragrance infuser) and Tim and Jill Rust (Brenda Cejda’s ceramic Christmas tree.)

Proceeds for the sale were down a little from previous years, perhaps because some members who have often increased their checks that day, had just donated to the Giving Day in November.  All-told, our donations were very good this year and we are sincerely grateful for each and every gift.

Read more: February Newsletter

November 2018 Newsletter


November 2018

The calendar pages are flipping past like a movie set, designed to show the rapid passage of time.  It didn’t help to have that blast of winter on October 14th – ice and snow which left many trees and shrubs completely bare in 24 hours.  It’s been a weather yo-yo ever since.  A bit challenging, even by Kansas standards.  But we still have two special events on tap this year and you won’t want to miss either of them.

Quilts of Valor will return to honor several area military veterans on Saturday, November 10th.  These ceremonies are so memorable, especially for the veterans being honored for their service, and for their families.  The local arm of the national organization of Quilts of Valor provides beautifully handmade quilts to each of those nominated for recognition – quilts that require hours of loving labor at no small expense.  Please put this special ceremony on your calendar: Saturday, November 10th at 2:00 p.m. at El Quartelejo Museum.

Read more: November 2018 Newsletter

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