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…

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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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June 29: Dirt, Grit, & Jell-O Salad–How We Survived the Great Depression (Online Event)

Text: Dirt, Grit, and Jello-Salad--How We survived the Great Depression. Presented by Beccy Tanner. June 29, 7 p.m. Zoom and Facebook Live. Images include a woman with shoulder-length hair and glasses (Beccy Tanner), and a family of itinerant workers dressed in 1930s clothing, holding hats. Two small children sit in a makeshift wagon.

Dirt, Grit, & Jell-O Salad–How We Survived the Great Depression presented by Beccy Tanner Tuesday, June 29, 7 p.m. Via Zoom & Facebook Live Click here to register for Zoom access Generations after the Great Depression, Kansans still define themselves and rural communities largely in the same terms their grandparents and great-grandparents once used–“hard-working, close-knit, loyal, and faithful.” But the dynamics have changed. Fewer Kansans are growing up on farms. More than 70 percent of people in Kansas now identify themselves as living in urban communities. Today, rural Kansans face…

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April 13: Trails of Kansas: Past, Present, and Future (Online Event)

Green-leafed trees arch over a gravel trail. The cover of the book Kansas Trail Guide is highlighted in the lower left corner.

Trails of Kansas: Past, Present, and Future presented by Jonathan Conard and Kristin Conard April 13, 7 p.m. Click here for recording The history of trails runs deep across the Kansas plains.  From the historic Oregon, Santa Fe, and Chisholm Trails to the steady growth in recreational trails throughout our state today, there are more opportunities than ever to explore Kansas on foot, bike, or horseback.  Trails that connect the past to the present are found throughout the state and we highlight some of the most scenic and interesting trails…

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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.   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 be used to research the history of buildings and towns during his presentation at…

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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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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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