Upcoming Events

Franklin County Historical Society
2017 Hours and Events

Old Depot Museum in April2017 Old Depot Museum Hours:
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday through Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
NOTE: Our admission rates will increase on July 1. Read more here.

CLOSED New Year’s Day (January 1), Annual Meeting Day (January 22), Easter (April 16), Independence Day (July 4), Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving (November 23-24), Christmas Eve (December 24), Christmas Day (December 25), New Year’s Eve (December 31)

Dietrich CabinDietrich Cabin: 
The cabin can be opened by appointment. Please call (785) 242-1232. Public events will be announced soon.

 

 

Franklin County Records and Research CenterFranklin County Records and Research Center:
Open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to Noon, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed for national and county holidays.

 

June 4 through August 20

Exhibit Grand Opening
Sunday, June 4, 2017, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Old Depot Museum, Ottawa, Kansas

The Old Depot Museum’s newest exhibit, “Crossings: Getting Over, Around, and Through Water in Franklin County” explores our relationship with the Marais des Cygnes River. Join us for the grand opening. Refreshments, live music by Larry Lintner, and water taste-testing will be part of this free program.

The exhibit includes a large floor map of the Marais des Cygnes River, which spans the 34’-long exhibit room at a scale of 18 inches equaling a mile. Visitors are invited to walk the river and study places where historic roads and current bridges cross the waters as well as find other features, like dams, fords, and “the Island.” The exhibit will also feature a clevis from the original 1869 Main Street suspension bridge, audio recordings of 1951 flood survivors, and the development of the flood control project. Learn more about this exhibit here. 

“Crossings” is made possible thanks in part to a Water/Ways partner site grant from the Kansas Humanities Council. Support for the Water/Ways initiative has been provided by the Sunflower Foundation. Additional community support for the Old Depot Museum’s exhibit comes from the former Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ottawa Library, City of Ottawa, Franklin County GIS, and Water Systems Engineering.

June 2017

Marais des Cygnes River Valley. (Photo by Kmusser – Self-made, based on USGS data.)

Water for Tomorrow: A Long-Term Vision for Water Supply in Central Kansas
Thursday, June 8, 2017, 7 p.m.
Neosho County Community College, Ottawa Campus

What can we do to ensure we have clean, safe water now and in the future?  Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office will talk about the KWO’s long-term vision for water in Central Kansas. This program is offered in conjunction with our summer exhibit. It is free and open to the public!

 

The Naked Voters & Tinnon v. Ottawa School Board
Part of the 2017 Lunch & Learn Series
Thursday, June 15, Noon
Franklin County Research & Records Center, Ottawa, KS

For this year’s Lunch & Learn series, Deborah Barker is sharing the top ten stories she’s discovered in 27 years of researching Franklin County history. This week’s session includes The Naked Voters–a group of men who stripped naked in order to cross flooded water to vote at the nearest polling station–and Tinnon v. Ottawa School Board, one of the earliest anti-school segregation cases to be heard by the Kansas Supreme Court. Beverages will be provided; feel free to bring your lunch! This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Records Center at (785) 242-1232.

Tours of the City of Ottawa Water Treatment/Reclamation Plants
Friday, June 16, 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m.
Ottawa Water Treatment Plant

For safety reasons, space is limited and registration will be required.

 

Ben and Theodora Jenness & The Auditorium Ghost
Part of the 2017 Lunch & Learn Series
Thursday, June 22, Noon
Franklin County Research & Records Center, Ottawa, KS

For this year’s Lunch & Learn series, Deborah Barker is sharing the top ten stories she’s discovered in 27 years of researching Franklin County history. This week’s session includes the story of Ben and Theodora Jenness–a man of all trades and the first fiction author from Franklin County–and the famous ghost that haunts the Ottawa Memorial/Municipal Auditorium. Beverages will be provided; feel free to bring your lunch! This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Records Center at (785) 242-1232.

Ray Hartshorn, Circus Man & Henry James at the Battle of Black Jack
Part of the 2017 Lunch & Learn Series
Thursday, June 29, Noon
Franklin County Research & Records Center, Ottawa, KS

For this year’s Lunch & Learn series, Deborah Barker is sharing the top ten stories she’s discovered in 27 years of researching Franklin County history. This week’s session includes the story of Ray Hartshorn–a circus man who survived being gassed in WWI and a train crash and jumping out of hot air balloons–and Henry James, the pro-slavery son of a Sac and Fox agent who joined the Confederacy. Beverages will be provided; feel free to bring your lunch! This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Records Center at (785) 242-1232.

July 2017

Sac and Fox Agency

Tommy Simpson v. Leod Wilson & Letter from the Sac & Fox Agency
Part of the 2017 Lunch & Learn Series
Thursday, July 6, Noon
Franklin County Research & Records Center, Ottawa, KS

For this year’s Lunch & Learn series, Deborah Barker is sharing the top ten stories she’s discovered in 27 years of researching Franklin County history. This week’s session includes the story of Tommy Simpson v. Leod Wilson–two men who both claimed to be the first African American male graduate of Ottawa High School (only one is right), and an amazing letter regarding the Sac & Fox Agency. Beverages will be provided; feel free to bring your lunch! This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Records Center at (785) 242-1232.

 

Free Second Sunday at the Old Depot Museum
Sunday, July 9, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is free to all visitors at the Old Depot Museum on July 9!

 

 

Closed for Independence Day
Tuesday, July 4

The Old Depot Museum and the Franklin County Records & Research Center will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

“On the Plains,” CC Image courtesy of Smiles Are Free of Flickr

Irrigation in Kansas, presented by Jay Antle
Thursday, July 6, 7 p.m.
Neosho County Community College, Ottawa Campus

Water irrigation has made Kansas an agricultural powerhouse, but it has also opened the floodgates for unintended consequences such as lawsuits, soil salinity, water scarcity, and continually larger, more ambitious irrigation plans. From ditches in Garden City, to centerpivot units across the state, to new plans to divert Missouri River water to Goodland, this presentation will encourage Kansans to consider how the past can inform present-day discussions of water usage in the state. This program is made possible thanks in part to a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council. Read more about this program here.

Chief Esh-ton-a-quat in London & Mrs. Filson and the Indian Council
Part of the 2017 Lunch & Learn Series
Thursday, August 13, Noon
Franklin County Research & Records Center, Ottawa, KS

For this year’s Lunch & Learn series, Deborah Barker is sharing the top ten stories she’s discovered in 27 years of researching Franklin County history. This week’s session includes the story Swan Creek & Black River Chippewa Chief Esh-ton-a-quat’s trip to London and Mrs. Filson, who opened a school at the Hickory Street crossing before Ottawa was founded. Beverages will be provided; feel free to bring your lunch! This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Records Center at (785) 242-1232.

Free Second Sunday at the Old Depot Museum
Sunday, July 9, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is free to all visitors at the Old Depot Museum on July 9!

 

Deep Water in the Tabernacle
Sunday, August 13, 2 p.m.
Old Depot Museum, Ottawa, Kansas

The local corporation that sponsored the residential Chautauquas in Ottawa’s Forest Park (1883-1914) had an uneasy relationship with the river. It provided a scenic backdrop for the lectures, choirs, and festive parades during the Assembly sessions. Visitors could steam up the river to “Wheeler’s Grove” at the head of The Island on a little steamer named Gertie and walk the riverside, hoping to catch cool breezes. But the threat of floods and the floods themselves caused the Assemblies to be delayed, postponed, or cancelled many years, despite efforts to schedule them in early June, July, and late August. Nothing prevented flood damage entirely. FCHS Director Deborah Barker will offer this special program on the Chautauqua and the Marais des Cygnes River. This program is free and open to the public.

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