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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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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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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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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Critter Companions exhibit opening March 17

Pets the subject of new exhibit at Old Depot Museum Ottawa, Kansas—The Old Depot Museum’s new exhibit explores Franklin County’s relationship with animals. Critter Companions, a look at working animals and companion pets, opens March 17. Before the 19th Century, most animals found in average households were working animals. Cats chased mice, dogs scented game, and horses provided transportation. During the mid-1800s, companion animals, which had once been common only among more affluent households, began to find their way into the hearts and homes of average citizens. As members of…

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