Phased Reopening Begins June 17!

August 9, 2020: Our hours and availability have updated! Please click here for the latest information. Beginning June 17, the Old Depot Museum and the Franklin County Records & Research Center will phase into reopening with appointments during limited hours. Museums and archives face special challenges during a pandemic because artifacts and archives cannot be sanitized without risking permanent harm to the object. Limiting exposure and allowing time for viruses and bacteria to die off naturally is an important line of defense in keeping staff, volunteers, visitors, and artifacts safe.…

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FCHS facilities temporarily closed to public

In order to protect our staff, volunteers, researchers and visitors, the Franklin County Historical Society is taking the following precautions: The Old Depot Museum at 135 W Tecumseh in Ottawa, Kansas, will be closed to the public through Sunday, March 29 until further notice. We recognize that Kansas’ experience with COVID-19 is changing rapidly, and FCHS buildings will remain closed while KDHE and the county health department recommend limiting group sizes. The Franklin County Records & Research Center at 1124 W 7th Street Terrace in Ottawa, Kansas, will be closed…

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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…

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Announcing the Laura Ingalls Wilder Commemorative Series

Library and historical society launch Laura Ingalls Wilder Commemorative Series Ottawa, Kansas—125 years ago, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family traveled through Franklin County on their way to what would be their permanent home in Mansfield, Missouri. This fall, Ottawa Library and the Franklin County Historical Society are partnering to commemorate the event while exploring Wilder’s impact on Kansas and literature. On August 16, the Wilders entered Franklin County. In her journal, which would later be published as On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota…

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Franklin County Museum Hopper Weekend returns August 3-4, 2019

Museum Hopper Weekend on August 3 & 4

Four Franklin County museums are partnering to promote local history on August 3 and 4. Appanoose Museum, the Old Depot Museum, and Richmond Community Museum are returning for the second annual Museum Hopper Weekend to encourage visitors to explore the rich history of Franklin County. New to the event this year is Williamsburg Community Museum. Admission to all four museums is free during Museum Hopper Weekend. Some participating museums are also offering giveaways and refreshments.  Hours, locations, and featured exhibits include Appanoose Museum: 600 Shawnee Road, Pomona (from Pomona, turn…

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Exhibit: Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined

During the 19th Century, Americans were fascinated by the idea of moving west in North America. Printed imagery—lithographs and engravings—played an important role in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding about the West and its inhabitants. More than 40 of these hand-colored engravings and lithographs will be on display at the Old Depot Museum through a new exhibit, Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined, which opens April 6. In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. This transaction extended the United States’ boundaries by 828,000…

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May 9 & May 15: Homeschool Days at One-Room School

One-Room School at the Old Depot Museum

Homeschool Days at One-Room School May 9, 2019 -or- May 15, 2019 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Old Depot Museum Homeschool students are invited to take a trip back in time to discover what a school day was like in 1910! Your day will include classroom instruction and experiencing how students behaved, dressed, and played. Children ages 7 to 13 are welcome! Registration information: $4.00 per student (nonrefundable after registration deadline) Register by April 25 for the May 9 class Register by May 1 for the May 15 class Register…

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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. 

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Historic sign lights up Old Depot Museum

Rick Hamman of Coffelt Sign Company puts the final touches on the newly restored 1962 Ottawa sign in the Model Railroad Room at the Old Depot Museum in Ottwa, Kansas. The sign is one of a pair that once served as a beacon for trains arriving at Ottawa’s fifth and final Santa Fe depot, which opened in 1962. Passenger service ended in 1971. Restoration and installation was completed by Coffelt Sign Company of Emporia, Kansas, and funded in part by a grant from the Caroline E. Hewitt Trust.

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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…

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