Scott County Historical Society

November 2017 Newsletter


Newsletter – November 2017

Well, how did you like the ‘trick’ Mother Nature played on us early Halloween morning?  I don’t remember ever Trick or Treating with my kids in the snow.  Of course, by noon the snow was gone, but it was (and still is) pretty cold for this time of year.  Forecasters are predicting lots of snow this winter.  Hey!  Didn’t they say that about this time last year, too?  Let’s hope we don’t have to wait until April 30th next year!

Enough with the weather.  This year is spinning to an end and we have only one more special event to look forward to (out here) – the annual Holiday Open House and Sugar Plum Sale.  That date is Sunday, December 17th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.  This is our only fundraiser of the year, and we need your favorite Christmas cookies and candies for the sale, along with several people to help.  Please call the museum 872-5912 to let us know we can count on you.  Oh, and we have some nifty items in our gift shop – great stocking stuffers!

We have a new exhibit in the temporary gallery – Not a Christmas collection this year, but 100 years of newsworthy events from 1917 to 2017.  From the beginning of WWI through those decades ending in 7’s.  Interesting to research those years, and, hopefully, you will find it interesting to walk down memory lane with us.  Come in and check it out.  And we invite you to write down events you believe will ‘live on in history’ from the year 2017.

Although you were invited to bring in your baby/little kid photos for an exhibit this summer, this request went largely ignored!  So – no cutesy photo display of our members.  Now we’re hoping for a better response for a different kind of photo.  We would like to collect as many photos of our veterans in uniform as possible.  Any veteran, any service.  This might be an exhibit at some point, but we are mainly interested in adding these valuable historic photographs to our archival collection.  You don’t have to give up your photo – we’ll copy it.  Please, please help us with this important project.

We are very sorry to say goodbye to Christine Evans, a faithful member and volunteer for many years.  Please welcome new members Rita Smith, Marie Fletcher, Joel and Anya Kasselman family, Andrew and Heather Davis family, Landon and Angie Frank family, Brett and Darci Berry family, Tom and Judy Russell, Scott and Aleta See, John and Joan Shirley and Donald Fisk. 

As we come to the end of the year, please consider a tax-free donation to the Scott County Historical Society.  We’ve had good response to requests for funding the new roof and for LED lightbulbs, and we often receive grants for special projects, but funding is always vital to maintain our beautiful galleries.  Your year-end donation will help us and you, as all donations are tax-exempt.


Holiday Open House/Sugar Plum Sale – Sunday, December 17th 1:30-3:30 p.m.


July 2017 Newsletter


July 2017

Hmmm, well I could start out this July newsletter by reminding you that just seven weeks ago we had more than a foot of snow on the ground, but would that make today’s 100+ degree high feel any cooler?  Probably not.  Oh well, this too shall pass. . .

Time for an update, and I hardly know where to begin.  It’s been a whirlwind of activity out here since before the June Jaunt.  The first ever kid’s summer activity, organized by our newest employee, Stephanie Fisher, was a program featuring “Baby Bob” a fossilized baby T-Rex.  Around forty children had pre-registered – more than 70 showed up!  Fortunately, most were accompanied by parents, so there was no lack of adult supervision, and the kids had a great time learning about digging for fossils.

That was the morning of the June Jaunt, and the meeting room was filled again for an afternoon presentation by Bob Detrich, the paleontologist who discovered Baby Bob in Montana, in 2013.  His program was most interesting and entertaining.

The ever-popular Historic Sites Guided Bus Tour on June 4th filled both VIP buses and included, for the first time ever, a stop at Little Jerusalem.  Special arrangements had been made for that stop, as that historic site is not yet open to the public.

The next weekend we were open for the first day of Biking Across Kansas participants, pedaling from Tribune to Dighton on June 10th.  Many of them stopped to take advantage of a cool place to rest and a welcome drink of water.  They enjoyed our gallery exhibits and complimented us highly on the fine quality of our facility.

The second summer activity for kids was held July 7th, with more than 45 children attending the geology workshop, led by Stephanie and Steven Fisher.  Registration for the three summer programs is $5 per child, per event, but members of the historical society, at $20 per family membership for the year, get in free.  Consequently, we have added 19 new family memberships and one business membership to date, with one more summer activity still to be held in August.  Stephanie’s experience in building programs like this, coupled with her enthusiasm, makes her an invaluable addition to our staff.

On July 6th, we hosted a tour group of sixty folks who were participating in the Ft. Wallace 150th Anniversary Exposition.  They had spent the day exploring the historic sites between Oakley and Scott County, and arrived at the museum, hot and hungry, around 4:30.  They enjoyed the galleries as well as a catered dinner, before heading back to Oakley.  Most of them were enjoying the celebration at Ft. Wallace, where Jerry Thomas unveiled his newest work of art - a life-size bronze statue of Scout, William Comstock, at the Ft. Wallace Museum. 

Jerry Thomas continues to amaze us all with his broad range of artistic gifts.  From his little bird prints to the bold creation of large bronze sculptures, his talent and his passion for historical accuracy combine to enhance his body of work.  Congratulations, Jerry, on your impressive sculpture now on display at Ft. Wallace.

Among the recent donations to the museum is a small dedication booklet for the Friends Church which once stood near 7th and Main Street.  Many of you will remember that large gray brick structure as the Methodist Church for long years before the new church was built on 5th Street, but originally, it was built by and for the Friends Church.  The booklet is a bounty of information we had never seen before.  Built in thirteen months in 1910, at a cost of around $13,000, the book describes the use of each floor of the structure; the main auditorium for worship, and the basement, designed to be used as a gathering place for social organizations such as the YMCA, complete with a ladies rest room and bathing facilities.  On the lot to the south, the Friends community started construction of an educational building, but that was never completed, and that lot became the location of the high school, built in 1930.  There were many steps leading up to the worship auditorium, and a large porch where the high school band sometimes played summer concerts.  That would have been in the late 30’s, I think.  I only remember that because my older brother and sister were in Paul Grover’s concert band at the time.

We never know what wonderful treasures will come through our doors on any given day.  And many  donors don’t  realize how vital those items may be to make some historical connection we’ve been trying to work out.  Keep them coming!

Once again we have to say goodbye to some faithful members: Louise Parkinson, Wanda Depperschmidt  and Janet Marcy.  These special ladies will be missed.

Please welcome new family members: Jan and Kim Wilkerson, Aaron and Holly Beaton, Katie Cornlius/the Mayo Family, Clint and Amy France, Warren and Trisha Harkness, Jennifer Orr, Randy and Stacy Rogers, Steve and Valyndia Payne, Monica Beeson, Mike and Tricia Goode, Coleen Malek, Jeremy and Nicole Turner, Adam and Elisha Winter, Matthew and Emily Lightner, Aaron and Megan Dirks, Anastacia Gossman, Matt and Alex Fox, Joel and Danielle Edwards, Myles and Elizabeth Vulgamore, Armando and Edith Tarango, and Turner Sheet Metal.

Upcoming Programs for Kids and Families:

Artists!  Our last Summer 1st Friday is an opportunity for kids to talk, draw, and learn from our very own Artist, Jerry Thomas.  Jerry will share how he gets inspired and pass that on to our budding artists.  There will be time to tour the Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection as well as visit with Jerry following his workshop.  Participants will receive a drawing pencil and paper to take home.  Older artists, ages 10 and up, can learn how to make a pocket sketchbook.  This workshop is best for kids ages 8 and up, but younger artists may attend with the help of an adult.  Cost is $5 for non-members and FREE for members.

Trunk Talks Coming This Fall! Beginning in September, we will host programs centered around Kansas State Historical Society’s Traveling Resource Trunks.  These trunks bring the history of Kansas to us in a unique and educational way.  Each trunk focuses on specific topics in Kansas history and include high-quality reproductions of historical artifacts, primary source documents, photographs and more.  This will be a wonderful educational opportunity for kids and families alike with lots of hands on activities.

•             1st Wednesdays:  For homeschooled and school aged children at 1:30 pm.

•             2nd Saturdays:  For families and kids of all ages at 2:00 pm

February 2017 Newsletter

February is zipping along - it will be March before we know it! Hopefully we’ll soon get the moisture we need so badly.

First a little recap of December activities.  In spite of a blustery winter day (do we ever get a break on that Sunday?) we had a good turnout for the Sugar Plum Sale.  Proceeds were better than the past couple of years, bringing in just over $1,000.  A HUGE thank you to all who furnished cookies and candy – and to all who braved the cold day to come out and support our only yearly fundraiser.  Big plates of leftover goodies were taken to City Hall, The SC Record, and to Park Lane.

Raffle prizes were won by Karen Compton (Tava See’s German Chocolate cake) Steve Schmitt (Christmas tree plate of goodies) and Velda Thomas (a Raggedy Ann doll).

In the November newsletter, I asked for responses to this statement (in two or three words) “When I was a child, Christmas was . . .”  I explained that I wanted to use your responses in the foyer holiday display.  Well, only two responded, and their answers were far more than two or three words, but they were so interesting I wanted to share them with you.  Patricia Palmer Schroder wrote: “. . .a time for writing thank you notes.  Dad (Dr. Palmer) wrote thank you’s every Christmas afternoon.”  And Art Gomez wrote a long account of the happy task of making tamales for the holidays at his grandmother’s house in Garden City.  He wrote about having to switch arms during the long grinding process of making boiled corn into the filling of those tasty tamales, which were shared with family and friends.  And that although his grandmother and mother came from Mexico, they rapidly assimilated to American ways and decorated for Christmas with Santa and his reindeer in the front yard – figures made by his grandfather.  He said he cherished holiday memories and has handed them down to his five children and his grandchildren.  When I wrote back and asked if he could come up with two or three words, he wrote simply “ Love of family and friends.”  And that says it all, for all of us.

We have received some interesting donations to our collection recently – a set of 69 picture postcards from early Scott County.  Some were J. W. Lough cards which we already had, but many were Main Street photos we had never seen before.  Those have all been cataloged and stored, but some will be enlarged and printed off for displays in the future.

We have also been given two pocket transistor radios, one with instruction booklet and the original box, which will make it much more interesting when it shows up in a display someday.

We also received a box of odds and ends from an estate, which included a pair of men’s wool spats, a silver cigarette lighter, some fancy hat pins, a little jewelry, and one set of what might be cuff links.  (Sometimes we have to guess what an item is!) We’re always glad to receive items of interest, especially if they have a story to tell – or one we can imagine.

The Gallery Enhancement Project (LED fund) got some nice donations towards the end of the year, and we are continuing to exchange LED bulbs for the halogen bulbs in the Jerry Thomas Gallery.  When that gallery is completed, we’ll start on the museum gallery.  We’ve recently found a source that saves us nearly $3 a bulb, with free shipping.  When you’re looking to purchase hundreds of bulbs, that is a considerable savings.

We are grateful to recently be named as recipients of two memorial funds.  Let me encourage you to consider the Scott County Historical Society for memorial and honorary gifts as a lasting, meaningful way to celebrate a loved one, while supporting the work of the historical society.  These memorials and honorariums are permanently displayed on our donor plaques.

Our next special event will be the Annual Meeting of the society on Sunday, April 23rd, at 2:00 p.m. at El Quartelejo Museum.  Following a short business meeting, guest speaker, Greg Mills, will present a program on the activities at Lake Scott State Park.  That should be most interesting.  Reminders will be sent out closer to that date, but you can pencil it in on your calendar now.

And looking on down the road, we will again participate in the June Jaunt, with a guest speaker, and the Historic Sites Guided Bus Tour.  More on that later.

Tara Williams’ delightful Raggedy Ann collection was enjoyed through the holidays, and we’re looking at a couple of ideas to fill the temporary gallery now.  We would really appreciate knowing about collections any of you might want to share for a few months.  Please give us a call at 620 872-5912.

We regret the recent loss of long-time members, Todd Steele, Dorothy Fouquet, Marilee Cramer and Maurine Dirks.  We welcome new members, Sue Heifner and Edward and Suzanne Frock.

As I write today, the temperature is headed for 83 degrees.  Tomorrow’s forecast – 47!  Only in Kansas!  Oh well, whatever your preference – enjoy!

August 2016 Newsletter


August 2016 Newsletter

          By the time this is sent out, it may no longer be August!  This month has just evaporated, along with all that lovely moisture we enjoyed earlier this summer.  Once again, we survived the Dog Days of Summer.  Did you know that is an actual time period from July 3rd to August 11th?  Check that out on Google for more interesting data!  Light showers this morning and pleasantly cool, but we need a good soaking rain, don’t we?  Seems I always start the newsletter with the weather . . .

            But there are other things to write about – for instance, our very interesting June Jaunt event.  Around 60 guests enjoyed Deb Lawrence’s program on early Scott City hotels and boarding houses, complete with wonderful vintage photographs and priceless nuggets of information.  As always, homemade cookies and punch helped make the day even more enjoyable.

            The current temporary gallery exhibit has been well-received.  Even our many visitors from other towns and countries have enjoyed “Main Street Scott City – The First 100 Years,” and the Dirty Thirties exhibit in the foyer.  It’s always fun when we can put together an exhibit from our own amazing collection of photos and artifacts, but it’s also a challenge to come up with a new display every few months.  If you have a collection you’d like to loan for a few weeks, please let us know.

Read more: August 2016 Newsletter

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