Summer 2022: 1859 Dietrich Cabin Tours

Image shows a stone fireplace. A large gold-framed wedding photo of a couple rests on a mantel. The fireplace is surrounded by household items common in the 1800s.

1859 Dietrich Cabin Tours First Saturday in June, July, & August, 10 a.m. to Noon Dietrich Cabin is reopening for tours! Originally located southwest of present-day Princeton, Dietrich Cabin was built in 1859 by German immigrants Jacob and Catherine Dietrich, who came to Franklin County in 1857. A century later, descendants of the family donated the cabin to the Franklin County Historical Society, and the cabin was moved to City Park. The cabin represents the story of the Dietrich family and hundreds of other early settlers who came to Franklin…

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August 14, 2022: Tattooed: The Tale of Maud Wagner

Text reads Tattooed The Tale of Maud Wagner. Image is of a woman in a sequined strapless dress and dark hair upswept with a flower. The woman's skin is covered in tattoos of plants and people.

Tattooed: The Tale of Maud Wagner presented by Lisa Soller August 14, 2022, 2 p.m. Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 South Hickory Street, Ottawa, Kansas Born in Emporia, Kansas, in 1877, Maud Stevens left home at the age of 19 to join the circus. While working as an aerialist and contortionist at Louisiana Purchase Exposition (also known as the St. Louis World’s Fair), she met and married Gus “The Globe Trotter” Wagner, a “most artistically marked up man” who would collect more than 800 tattoos during his lifetime. Soon covered in…

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July 17, 2022 Program: Architecture of the People’s Houses

Sepia-toned photo of the Franklin County Courthouse, a three-story brick and stone victorian building. Inset: graphic of a man with dark hair and a beard. Humanities Kansas logo.

Architecture of the People’s Houses presented by Murl Riedel Sunday, July 17, 2022, 2 p.m. Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 South Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas Kansas has 105 county courthouses and hundreds of city halls, plus a few more state capitals than you might expect. The manifestation of the greatest ideals occurs in these buildings, where the work of the people’s democracy is in action. The designs of these buildings tell us about the evolution of local government in the state. Larger societal issues, such as the Free State and the Civil…

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May 7, 2022: New traveling exhibit tells story of self-rule among Indigenous nations

Group of Kickapoo Indians, standing outside tent, dressed in Euro-American clothing

Image: Members of the Kiwigapawa (Kickapoo) tribe standing outside a tent, dressed in Euro-American clothing. 1909. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/97512086/   A new traveling exhibit explores how Indigenous nations expressed autonomy during their years in “Indian Territory” Kansas. “Living Sovereignty: Sustaining Indigenous Autonomy in ‘Indian Territory’ Kansas” will open at the Old Depot Museum on Saturday, May 7. For generations before European and American settlement, Indigenous nations and tribes embodied sovereignty—the right to self-rule. Maintaining that sense of self-rule and self-government through years of interactions with the…

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February 8, 2022: Osage Women, Gender, & Empire

An Osage Woman holds her child.

Osage Women, Gender, & Empire Presented by Dr. Tai Edwards Recording Available   Historian Dr. Tai Edwards will speak on the research she has conducted for numerous publications (including her book) on Osage Women and Empire: Gender and Power. She will address aspects of colonialism and its impact, Indigenous power, and gender roles in the context of the Osage experience in modern-day Missouri and Kansas. Dr. Edwards is a history professor at Johnson County Community College. Her research and teaching focus on empire, Indigenous peoples, gender, and disease. She is…

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NEW DATE February 6, 2022: Santa Fe depot architecture subject of virtual annual meeting

A train is pulled in to a Santa Fe depot. the Santa Fe logo and "Princeton" are visible under the gable of the depot's roof. People are gathered on the platform between the depot and the train. Passengers can be seen inside the train.

“Santa Fe Depots: Form and Function,” presented by Bob Walz 85th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society  Recording Available   Update: In deference to our Chiefs fans, we are moving our program to February 6, 2022, 2 p.m.  What exactly is a depot and what is it for? Using images of depots along the Eastern and Western Lines of the AT&SF Railroad, Bob Walz will examine the history of the development of Santa Fe depots, from repurposed boxcars to large, ornate depots and everything in…

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FCHS to host “Voices and Votes,” traveling Smithsonian exhibit, in 2023!

Text reads Voices and Votes Democracy in America

The Smithsonian is coming to Ottawa! Franklin County Historical Society to host “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America”   Ottawa, Kansas – The Franklin County Historical Society in Ottawa is hosting “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. “Voices and Votes” will be in Ottawa from August 19, 2023 to October 1, 2023 at the Old Depot Museum, 135 West Tecumseh Street. The “Voices and Votes” Kansas tour is sponsored by Humanities Kansas in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. “Voices and…

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Old Depot Museum, Records Center Hours and Restrictions as of March 7, 2022

Image shows a cartoon of a woman wearing a mask. Text Reads: Visitor Guidelines beginning March 7, 2022

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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March 8, 2022: Prairie Gas Stations

A dilapidated stucco building stands abandoned in a field. Many of the windows are boarded up. Part of the tile roof is missing.

Prairie Gas Stations presented by Judi Kirk Sunday, March 6, 2022, 2 p.m. Ottawa Memorial Auditorium 301 South Hickory Street, Ottawa, Kansas 66067   Judi Kirk loves early 20th-century gas stations. When she discovered that one of her favorites—a filling station on Highway 54 in Cairo, Kansas—was torn down, she made it her quest to photograph as many old Kansas gas stations as she could before they vanished. Her adventures in seeking out and photographing historic filling stations have been compiled into two books, Remnants: Prairie Gas Stations Remembered and…

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Holiday Hours

Text: Holiday Hours. Background Image features a winter scene with snow, a snowman, and evergreen trees.

Holiday Hours at the Franklin County Historical Society Both the Franklin County Records & Research Center and the Old Depot Museum will be open regular business hours through December 30. Please note: Masks are required for all visitors regardless of vaccination status. For more information on current rules and restrictions, click here. Special Hours at the Old Depot Museum: 12/24 (Friday) – CLOSED 12/25 (Saturday) – CLOSED 12/26 (Sunday) – CLOSED 12/27 (Monday) – CLOSED 12/28 (Tuesday ) – OPEN 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 12/29 (Wednesday) – OPEN 10…

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