July 22-31: American Revolution traveling exhibit coming to the Old Depot Museum

Men and women in 18th century clothing. Text reads The American Revolution Experience Traveling Exhibit Now On Tour.

Innovative traveling Revolutionary War exhibit coming to Franklin County

The General Edward Hand Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Franklin County Historical Society are excited to announce a traveling exhibit, the American Revolution Experience, will be on display at the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa, Kansas, from July 22 through July 31.

The innovative pop-up exhibition includes display panels and interactive digital kiosks that use storytelling, illustration, technology, unique artifacts and primary accounts to connect modern audiences with the people and places that shaped the birth of our nation. Created through a collaboration between the American Battlefield Trust and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the exhibit is also made possible by generous matching funds from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program battlefield interpretation grants.

Chamber Coffee July 26, 2024, 8 a.m. Old Depot Museum. Image features cup of coffee with steam engine drawn in foam.
Hear the latest community news and tour the exhibit during the Old Depot’s Chamber Coffee on July 26!

To help accommodate visitors during this short exhibit, the Old Depot Museum will be open every day from July 22 through July 31. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sunday, July 28, when the museum will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The community is also invited to the Chamber Coffee on Friday, July 26, at 8 a.m., at the Old Depot Museum to hear the latest community news and to tour the museum and exhibit.

The American Revolution Experience launched online in its first digital-only iteration during the summer of 2022 to rapid acclaim and received a Bronze Award in the Education, Art, & Culture division of the second annual Anthem Awards, an initiative of the Webby Awards celebrating purpose and mission-driven work. It was also a finalist in the “People’s Choice” category of the Webbys themselves. The online exhibit is available at www.battlefields.org/ontour.

“The American Revolution would not have happened without the decisions, sacrifices, and valor of ordinary people,” said DAR President General Pamela Rouse Wright. “DAR is honored to have collaborated with the American Battlefield Trust on this initiative to highlight some of our Patriots and their roles in the founding of this great country. We are thrilled for people in communities across the country to learn more about these individuals.”

The traveling exhibit includes 12 panels highlighting thematic connections between profiled individuals and three interactive kiosks that connect to the full digital biographies, provides documentary context on the Revolutionary War and offer information on how to visit the places tied to these individuals today. Both online and on-site, the American Revolution Experience features custom illustrations by South Carolina-based artist Dale Watson. The exhibit also draws from documents and objects in DAR’s collection, as well as the Trust’s industry leading digital interpretation resources.

“Independence may have been declared in Philadelphia by the Declaration’s 56 signers, but it was hard-won on the battlefields we protect by the thousands of Patriot soldiers from whom today’s Daughters trace descent,” said Trust President David Duncan. “Together, our organizations bear witness to the fact that we are not so far removed from those impactful events, that there are meaningful ways to bridge those 250 years.”

The Old Depot Museum is among the scores of libraries, historical societies and museums that will host the American Revolution Experience through 2025, introducing visitors to a cast of historical characters with diverse experiences throughout the conflict and the places they visited on their journey.

The American Revolution Experience invites visitors to consider the choice faced by members of the revolutionary generation as tensions mounted in the 1770s: Would these ordinary citizens risk their lives and livelihoods in pursuit of liberty? Or would they remain loyal subjects of the British crown, coming into conflict with neighbors and family? The exhibit surfaces diverse viewpoints and experiences, touching on the journeys — both literal and figurative — of Patriots and Loyalists, men and women, Black and Native populations and even international allies. Rather than focusing only on generals and famous statesmen, it introduces audiences to drummer boys, military mapmakers and other ordinary people who were impacted by global events.

About the Organizations

From a grassroots organization started by historians nearly 40 years ago, the American Battlefield Trust has grown into one of the most successful land preservation and education organizations in the nation. The Trust has protected almost 60,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War, representing 160 sites in 25 states from Massachusetts to New Mexico. Its 350,000 members and supporters believe in the power of place and the continued relevance of our shared history to modern American society. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With nearly 190,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.

Established in 1937, the Franklin County Historical Society preserves, presents, and promotes the history of Franklin County, Kansas. FCHS owns and operates the Old Depot Museum.

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