Johnson City, Kansas

Kansas: Stanton County Museum


I’m going to take a break from Italy for a bit to tell you about my recent visit to Kansas and surrounding states. My boyfriend grew up in the small town of Johnson City, Kansas. Most city folks would consider it the middle of nowhere.The truth is though, you can find more desolate places. I’ve driven through some.

Cash is the same as money 1
Antique cash register donated by the Wartman Family – Keltin’s mom’s side

 Johnson is the county seat of Stanton County. In addition to the county schools, Johnson houses the county’s museum. Stanton County Museum a small museum that is loved by the residents and students of the county. Not only does it house the prehistoric bones and fossils of extinct animals but has a wonderful collection on the history of the dust bowl. The museum is housed in a building that was built as a WPA project during the Great Depression

Scale model irrigation sprinkler

At the heart of this museum is the story of the people that have walked and lived on the land. One room depicts the nomadic tribes as they hunted buffalo long before the Spanish introduced horses to North America. A small area near the door has wonderful genealogy posters that have been made by families over time that live in the area. The museum is full of items donated by various families. One sections honors all those that have served in the armed forces both past and present.

The yearbooks
Yearbooks from Stanton County High School

 One of my favorite parts of the museum is the train depot that was actually donated to the museum and relocated to the grounds. It stands as a testament to the past when the mighty railroad cut its way through the west on the way to Manifest Destiny.

The history of the American west is not pretty. It is not like the western movies and TV shows. It was a hard life, harder than most of us will know. Our ancestors did unspeakable things to the native people, killing entire cultures and driving bison to the brink of extinction.

Wall of Barbed Wire
Barbed wire samples from the region

Museums are meant to teach us and remind us of our pasts. If you ever happen to find yourself driving past Johnson City stop for a moment and wonder through the museum. If you can’t then check out my video tour.

Stanton County in red


Pictures by Keltin Wiens – Video by Laci McGee –  Special thanks to Katie Herrick for showing us the wonders of the museum. Signature 1InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube

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