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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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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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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POSTPONED: November 14: Main Street Richmond: 1880-1980 (online program)

An aerial view of a street lined with businesses and cars.

Main Street Richmond: 1880-1980 presented by Dennis Peters Register at Zoom or watch via Facebook Live   The small town of Richmond, Kansas, has changed a lot over the years. Changing businesses, shifting community needs, and destructive fires have shaped and reshaped the community. Dennis Peters, volunteer with the Richmond Community Museum, will present a history of Richmond through photographs in the museum’s collection. This program will be rescheduled as in in-person program in the spring of 2022.  

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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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