October 21: Chamber Coffee @ FCHS Archives & Research Center

Bookcases filled with books. Tables and chairs. File cabinets. Large prints of historic photos in the background.

Chamber Coffee Friday, October 21, 2022, 8 a.m. FCHS Archives & Research Center 2011 East Logan Street, Ottawa, Kansas 66067   We’re excited to share our new location with you! Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Franklin County Historical Society’s Archives & Research Center and learn more about how we hope to use our new space. For more information, call (785) 242-1232 or e-mail Diana Staresinic-Deane.

Read More

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…

Read More

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. RECORDING AVAILABLE!   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 arrives in Blue Rapids, Kansas. Photo courtesy…

Read More

CANCELED April 7: Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills

Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills presented by Rex Buchanan Tuesday, April 7, 7 p.m. Neosho County Community College Ottawa Campus, 900 E Logan, Ottawa, Kansas Following the restrictions set by state and county health officials, the Franklin County Historical Society has canceled all in-person events through the month of April. We hope to reschedule this event when it is safe to do so. For centuries, native inhabitants of the land now known as Kansas have carved elaborate images in the soft sandstone of the Smoky Hills. Many of these…

Read More

CANCELED March 13: Pi Kappa Delta Centennial Exhibit Grand Opening Reception

Pi Kappa Delta: The Art of Persuasion: from Ottawa to the World 1913-2020 Exhibit Grand Opening Reception Friday, March 13, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Old Depot Museum   In order to protect our staff, volunteers, researchers, and visitors, the Franklin County Historical Society is closing our facilities to the public and canceling events through March 29. The Pi Kappa Delta grand opening has been canceled, but the exhibit will open to the public at a later date. For more information, click here. Pi Kappa Delta, the oldest comprehensive intercollegiate…

Read More

December 9: Christmas Storytime at the Old Depot Museum

Old Depot Museum, Ottawa, Kansas Monday, December 9, 10 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. Free admission, Family Friendly The Old Depot Museum and Ottawa Library are partnering to bring Christmas Storytime to the Old Depot Museum! Join us for an a reading of The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, crafts, and a tour of the museum! This program will be offered twice: 10 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. This free event is perfect for the whole family!

Read More

Saturday, March 9: Researching Your Home and the People Who’ve Lived There

Researching Your Home and the People Who’ve Lived There  Saturday, March 9, 2 p.m.  Neosho County Community College, 900 E Logan, Ottawa, KS  Free Event Researching a property—whether an old home, a new business, or a section of pastureland—can do more than tell us the history of a space; it can also help us build a human connection to the people who came before us and the history they experienced. This presentation helps participants consider creative ways to study documents and assemble a meaningful narrative with information found through research.…

Read More

Friday, January 25: Chamber Coffee at the Old Depot Museum

Chamber Coffee at the Old Depot Museum Friday, January 25, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. 130 years ago this month, Franklin Countians were catching the train at Ottawa’s brand-new train depot. Join us at the Old Depot Museum for a special commemoration of a grand building and a tour of our exhibit, Iron, Steel, & Stone: The Life of a Depot. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (785) 242-1250 or e-mail us. 

Read More

Kansas and the 1918 Flu Epidemic, featuring historian Tyler Johnson

Neosho County Community College, 900 E Logan, Ottawa, KS Sunday, November 4, 2018, 2 p.m. In 1918, an influenza epidemic killed millions of people around the world. One hundred years later, scientists and historians are still working to understand how it started.  Historian Tyler Johnson will present the story of the 1918 Influenza outbreak’s start in Western Kansas, the national outbreak, Kansas’s battle against the flu, and how Ottawa fared during the outbreak. He will also discuss death tolls and theories of how the pandemic started. This program is free…

Read More

Franklin County Museum Hopper Weekend August 4-5, 2018

This August, four Franklin County museums are partnering to promote local history. Appanoose Museum, the Old Depot Museum, Richmond Community Museum, and the Wellsville Historical Society are launching a first-ever Museum Hopper Weekend on August 4 and 5 to encourage visitors to explore the rich history of Franklin County. “What’s amazing about our community museums is that each museum reflects the stories of the people in the community it serves,” said Diana Staresinic-Deane, Franklin County Historical Society executive director. “By visiting each of these museums, visitors can really appreciate how…

Read More