FCHS receives Humanities Kansas SHARP Recovery Grant

TOPEKA – Humanities Kansas recently awarded a SHARP Recovery Grant in the amount of $7,164 to the Franklin County Historical Society in Ottawa, Kansas. Diana Staresinic-Deane serves as project director. Founded in 1937, the Franklin County Historical Society strives to preserve, present, and promote the history of Franklin County, Kansas, through its archives, programs, and exhibits at the Old Depot Museum and Dietrich Cabin. The SHARP Recovery Grants support Kansas cultural organizations that provide humanities programming and are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. Grants are for general operating…

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November 14: Main Street Richmond: 1880-1980 (online program)

An aerial view of a street lined with businesses and cars.

Main Street Richmond: 1880-1980 presented by Dennis Peters Register at Zoom or watch via Facebook Live   The small town of Richmond, Kansas, has changed a lot over the years. Changing businesses, shifting community needs, and destructive fires have shaped and reshaped the community. Dennis Peters, volunteer with the Richmond Community Museum, will present a history of Richmond through photographs in the museum’s collection.  

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New exhibit explores transition from horse-drawn buggies to horseless carriages

Background: a photo of Central Street in Richmond, Kansas, showing both a horce and buggy and an automobile. The words "Horse Power" are in the foreground.

Horse Power Now through August 2022 at the Old Depot Museum   The Franklin County Historical Society’s newest exhibit, “Horse Power,” explores the transition from horse-drawn buggies to horseless carriages and how the automobile shaped our streets and our culture. The exhibit will be on display at the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa, Kansas, through August 2022. In 1899, the Ottawa Herald reported that “Franklin County has 6,622 horses. As yet, she has no automobiles.” “Horseless carriages” were still a rarity in Kansas; in 1900, Kansas ranked tenth in the…

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Old Depot Museum, Records Center Hours and Restrictions as of September 12, 2021

We have expanded our hours at the Old Depot Museum and the Franklin County Records & Research Center. Please note that these hours and restrictions may change or be updated as state/local mandates require throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that museums and archives face special challenges during a pandemic because artifacts and archives cannot be sanitized without risking permanent harm to the object. Limiting exposure and allowing time for viruses and bacteria to die off naturally is an important line of defense in keeping staff, volunteers, visitors, and artifacts…

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New Exhibit Features Historic Maps of Ottawa

Background shows a translucent image of the index page from the 1884 Ottawa Sanborn Fire Insurance Map. Text reads Our City in Sanborns: The City of Ottawa in Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1884-1924

Our City in Sanborns: The City of Ottawa in Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1884-1924 Now through July 2022 at the Old Depot Museum   The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps were first published in the 1860s to help fire insurance agents assess risk to commercial, industrial, and residential buildings and properties. Sanborn ultimately printed more than 50,000 editions of maps for 12,000 U.S. towns and cities through the 1950s. Because these maps were expensive—ranging in price from $12 to $200 depending on the year and the size of the city—communities often…

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October 12: The Orphan Train Movement (Online Event)

A train has pulled into the station. A large group of people crowd around the train as passengers deboard.

The Orphan Train Movement presented by Kaily Carson Tueday, October 12, 2021 – 7 p.m. Register at Zoom or watch online via Facebook Live   Between 1854 and 1929, 250,000 children migrated from the East Coast to the West and Midwest on orphan trains. Learn how and why the orphan train system developed, how it worked, and hear the stories of orphan train riders to Franklin County. This free online program is presented by Kaily Carson, curator at the National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, Kansas. Image: An orphan train…

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June 29: Dirt, Grit, & Jell-O Salad–How We Survived the Great Depression (Online Event)

Text: Dirt, Grit, and Jello-Salad--How We survived the Great Depression. Presented by Beccy Tanner. June 29, 7 p.m. Zoom and Facebook Live. Images include a woman with shoulder-length hair and glasses (Beccy Tanner), and a family of itinerant workers dressed in 1930s clothing, holding hats. Two small children sit in a makeshift wagon.

Dirt, Grit, & Jell-O Salad–How We Survived the Great Depression presented by Beccy Tanner Tuesday, June 29, 7 p.m. Via Zoom & Facebook Live Click here to register for Zoom access Generations after the Great Depression, Kansans still define themselves and rural communities largely in the same terms their grandparents and great-grandparents once used–“hard-working, close-knit, loyal, and faithful.” But the dynamics have changed. Fewer Kansans are growing up on farms. More than 70 percent of people in Kansas now identify themselves as living in urban communities. Today, rural Kansans face…

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April 13: Trails of Kansas: Past, Present, and Future (Online Event)

Green-leafed trees arch over a gravel trail. The cover of the book Kansas Trail Guide is highlighted in the lower left corner.

Trails of Kansas: Past, Present, and Future presented by Jonathan Conard and Kristin Conard April 13, 7 p.m. Click here for recording The history of trails runs deep across the Kansas plains.  From the historic Oregon, Santa Fe, and Chisholm Trails to the steady growth in recreational trails throughout our state today, there are more opportunities than ever to explore Kansas on foot, bike, or horseback.  Trails that connect the past to the present are found throughout the state and we highlight some of the most scenic and interesting trails…

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New exhibit highlights teen’s photos of 1950s Franklin County

A black-and-white image shows a teen boy standing with a camera on a tripod, photographing a sun setting over a body of water. The exhibit title Through a Teen's Lens: The Photography of Jack Bremer appears in the upper right-hand corner.

Through a Teen’s Lens: The Photography of Jack Bremer Now through March 2022 at the Old Depot Museum Before Jack Bremer found his calling as a United Methodist minister and social activist, he was a teenager with a camera. The Old Depot Museum’s newest exhibit, “Through a Teen’s Lens: The Photography of Jack Bremer,” showcases 50 photographs Bremer captured during the early 1950s. The exhibit will be on display through March 2022. Bremer’s photographs caught the attention of the Franklin County Historical Society in June of 2020, when his daughter,…

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May 4: Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills (Online Event)

The background includes a photo of part of a petroglyph from the Kansas Smoky Hills. In the foreground is a portrait of Rex Buchanan. He is wearing a suit and tie. The Humanities Kansas logo is also featured.

Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills  presented by Rex Buchanan  Tuesday, May 4, 7 p.m.  Via Zoom and Facebook Live Click here to register for Zoom Access Too often Kansas history seems to start with the Coronado’s trip through the state in 1541. For centuries before European arrival, Native people lived on the plains, and some left behind rock carvings on soft sandstone in the middle of the state. Based on the book Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills (University Press of Kansas, 2019), this presentation focuses on these carvings,…

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