The following is a recap of the Jan. 11 board meeting of the Miami County Historical Museum provided by museum volunteers.
New open days beginning Feb. 1 (Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.–2 p.m.) and solidifying commitment to doubling building size through renovation of the second floor and elevator installation were just two of the many ambitious items approved at the January Miami County Historical Museum Board meeting.
Additional enterprising efforts include computerizing facial characteristics of famous historical figures where they appear to “speak” to the viewer on a large electronic screen, monthly sponsorship of historical presentations featuring subject matter experts, sponsorship of a Paola craft show scheduled for Saturday, June 17, and continued traveling exhibits, among others.
To lead these and other pioneering efforts, Jana Barcus was unanimously elected president for a two-year term. Also unanimously approved for 2023-2024 were secretary and five township-based board member positions.
Bring the entire family and explore the treasure chest of more than 6,000 square feet of surprises dedicated to telling the rich history of Miami County from prehistoric life to early settlements; from the plight of Native Americans to the struggle surrounding slavery, from Christian missions evolving into small-town Americana.
The Indian Heritage Room overflows with one of the largest collections of Indian Artifacts in the state of Kansas, ranking it as a regional gem. A large mural, hand painted by a local artist, depicts the county’s early days and should not be missed. Also displayed are pictures and artifacts of the Potawatomie Trail of Death terminating at Sugar Creek Mission/Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne Mission, Lykins Mission Park, and the Osage Trading Post.
The main gallery boasts a historical timeline highlighting local figures who played prominent roles in our country’s history. Visitors may be aghast upon learning William Quantrill taught school in Miami County prior to his escapades as bandit leader and “bushwacker” during the Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War periods.
Quantrill’s diametrically opposed nemesis, John Brown, headquartered his violent Kansas abolitionists activities, forerunners to his infamous raid on Harper's Ferry, in Miami County. Later, an orphaned teenager born into slavery named George Washington Carver briefly graced the county with his presence before becoming one of the country’s preeminent scientists and inventors. Integrated into the displays are QR codes providing supplemental information for inquisitive minds.
The Miami County Museum is a terrific way to spend a morning or afternoon.
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