January 31:Historic maps the topic of this year’s virtual historical society annual meeting

An image of a hand-drawn 19th century map, featuring streets, buildings, and the Marais des Cygnes River is in the background. A photo of a man with a beard is featured in the foreground. The words "Mapping the Past" and "84th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society" float over the map.

“Mapping the Past,” presented by Kelly Johnston 84th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society Sunday, January 31, 2021, 2 p.m. via Zoom and Facebook Live Register for Zoom here (no registration needed for Facebook live) Click Here For Recording   Before technology like drones, aerial photography, and GPS, 19th and early 20th century cartographers were creating incredibly accurate and detailed maps of small and large towns and their historic structures. Kelly Johnston will explore the history of some of these maps and how they can…

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Congratulations to our newly reelected board members!

On February 9, 2021, 1 p.m., a panel of ballot judges– two staff members and a volunteer–opened, reviewed, and tabulated all received proxy ballots submitted in the election of our FCHS Board of Trustees. 163 ballots were mailed. 69 ballots were returned by noon on February 9, 2021, which is a return rate of 42 percent. 67 ballots were cast in favor of reelecting Sara Caylor, Robbin Kerth, and Juanita Peckham to the FCHS Board of Trustees for three-year terms. Two ballots were returned blank, and the ballots were disqualified. Because…

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Invitation to Bid on Roof Repairs and Painting/Plastering Projects at the Old Depot Museum

NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS INVITATION TO BID Roof Project & Painting/Plastering Project OLD DEPOT MUSEUM, also known as the Ottawa Santa Fe Depot OTTAWA, KANSAS Building Description Completed in 1888, the two-story limestone building with a prominent terne-metal roof served as a depot for the Southern Kansas and then AT&SF railroad lines until 1962, when the structure was donated to the Franklin County Historical Society. FCHS reopened the building as the Old Depot Museum in 1963.   Project Descriptions Project #1: Repairing both the terne-metal roof and wooden platform roof to…

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Old Depot Museum, Records Center hours and restrictions as of January 1, 2021

The Old Depot Museum and the Franklin County Records & Research Center are now open for limited hours. Please note that these hours and restrictions will change as mandated by county and state health officials. 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 safe. The Old Depot Museum will…

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POSTPONED: Foam on the Range, presented by Isaias McCaffery – December 16

A man wearing a gray suit and burgundy tie stands in the foreground. Newspaper text from 1866 announcing Ottawa's new prohibition law is in the background. The Humanities Kansas logo is in the background.

Foam on the Range Wednesday, December 16, 7 p.m. Watch via Facebook Live Wherever You Are Watch at Not Lost Brewing and enjoy a round courtesy of The Gun Guys in Ottawa, KS This event has been postponed. A new date will be announced in the spring. Settle in with your favorite beverage for a story about prohibition, an attempt to thwart immigrant brewers, and immigrant perseverance in Kansas! Watch this program live online from wherever you are or watch it over dinner and beer at Not Lost Brewing! Details…

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Exhibit celebrates Women’s Suffrage in Kansas and Missouri

Several African American Women lobbying for the right to vote stand in a line.

Demanding a Greater Future: Celebrating a Centennial of Women’s Suffrage Now through December 5 Old Depot Museum   “…because she is a progressive being ever out-growing the past and demanding a higher and greater future…” – Moneka Women’s Rights Association statement of purpose, 1858 Demanding a Greater Future:  Celebrating a Centennial of Women’s Suffrage marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment by exploring the efforts women in Missouri and Kansas undertook to secure voting rights. Demanding a Greater Future examines the national struggle for women’s suffrage to…

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Presentation, exhibits explore Women’s Suffrage in Kansas and Franklin County

The Franklin County Historical Society will host a presentation and outdoor and indoor exhibits to commemorate the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. On August 18, 7 p.m., FCHS will host “The Long Road to Women’s Suffrage in Kansas,” a presentation and discussion by Diane Eickhoff.  The free program will be offered via Facebook Live at facebook.com/olddepotmuseum. The program is made possible by Humanities Kansas. Kansas was historically a leader in women’s rights, yet the campaign for voting rights in Kansas…

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Now through December: New museum exhibit explores history of hotels in Franklin County

The Old Depot Museum’s newest exhibit explores the first century of Franklin County’s Hotels and how they reflect the needs of the towns they served. “Rooms For Rent” includes photographs and artifacts from twenty Franklin County hotels, including hotels that once served Richmond, Williamsburg, Rantoul, Lane, Wellsville, Princeton, and Ottawa. When new towns were established on the prairie, hotels were among the first structures built, said Diana Staresinic-Deane, FCHS Executive Director. Those early hotels served as accommodations for travelers and residents building businesses and homes, community dining halls, meeting rooms,…

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Phased Reopening Begins June 17!

August 9, 2020: Our hours and availability have updated! Please click here for the latest information. Beginning June 17, the Old Depot Museum and the Franklin County Records & Research Center will phase into reopening with appointments during limited hours. 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 safe.…

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May 1: Trivia Night (Facebook Live!)

Trivia Night – Franklin County Edition (Via Facebook Live!) Friday, May 1, 7 p.m. We’re bringing a Franklin County edition of Trivia Night to you via Facebook Live! Play alone or build a team. Cheating to find answers is encouraged. Ask Google. Ask Jeeves. Ask your mom. Just be honest about your score! Questions will be family friendly and the most fun for ages 12 and up. Can’t join us that night but still want to play? The video will post to facebook shortly after the event is over. You…

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