Museums in Marion County preserve histories of their communities, keep records, and displaying memorable items from t early days.
Father Kapaun Museum
Perhaps the most visited museum right now is the Father Kapaun Museum in Pilsen.
Chaplain Emil Kapaun, a prisoner of war in Korea who helped fellow prisoners survive, is a candidate for canonization by the Roman Catholic Church. People come from all over the world to learn about Kapaun’s selfless life.
The museum is open 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Appointments to tour the museum and the church at other times can be made online or by calling Melissa Stuchlik at (785) 366-0790.
Stuchlik receives four or five calls every day. Several tour guides are available.
Florence Harvey House
Take a step back in time by taking your family or a group of friends to dine in the Florence Harvey House restaurant and tour the facility.
It is part of the first restaurant and motel unit that Fred Harvey established along the Santa Fe Railroad in the 1870s.
The museum is open by appointment only. Appointments can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (620) 878-4481.
The visitors’ center for several Hillsboro historic buildings is near the entrance to the city park. It is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
The 1876 Pioneer Adobe House, also known as Mennonite Settlement House, is nearby. It was built by Peter Paul Loewen and is the only surviving house of its kind in the area. It has a unique cooking and heating system. A addition houses antique items from that era.
An 1876 windmill used for grinding wheat stands nearby, and a one-room school from the 1890s is adjacent to the visitors’ center.
The 1909 William F. Shaeffler House on E. Grand Ave. also is available for tours. The Queen Anne house features an open stairway, stained glass windows, fine woodwork, and a round cupola.
Tours can be arranged by contacting museum director Cara Duell at (620) 947-3775.
Marion Historical Museum
Marion Historical Museum originally was a county museum, but as other towns got their own museums, it became local. The museum continues to hold items that came from towns that don’t have museums, such as small communities in northern Marion County.
Aubrey Wheeler, director and curator for the past two years, recently earned a master’s degree in anthropology and has a certificate in museum studies. She is digitizing items.
Located in a former church at the northeast corner of Central Park, the museum has limited space, but Wheeler is trying to make it more wheelchair accessible.
“My goal is to open the space up a little,” she said.
She plans to update signage to reflect the relationship of items to the community.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
For access other days or to arrange a tour, Wheeler can be contacted at email@example.com.
Mennonite Heritage and AgMuseum
Goessel’s Threshing Days is coming Aug. 5 to 7, and paying the entrance fee will provide access to the Mennonite Heritage Museum as well as seven other buildings.
The museum is in a 200-foot-by-18-foot replica of one of the two immigrant houses built for a group of Mennonites who came to the area in 1874. Other buildings include the Turkey Red Wheat Palace, 1902 Schroeder barn, 1875 Krause house, and a country school.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from May to September. More details are available at www.goesselmuseum.com. Director Fern Bartel is at (620) 367-8200.
Peabody Historical Museum
Peabody’s Walnut St. has been designated as an 1880s main street and a national historic site. Walking or driving the street is an experience all its own.
Peabody also has a complex of historical buildings that include the 1874 first free library in Kansas, the 1914 Carnegie Library, Peabody Printing Museum, and Morgan House. Behind the Morgan House is a barn that houses railroad and agricultural items.
The museum is in an 1874 building just east of the Carnegie Library. It is open 1 to 3 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Appointments can be made for other times by calling the city at (620) 983-2174.
Last modified June 30, 2022