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Chapman Center for Rural Studies

Chapman Center Announces Making the Leap Pilot Communities 

  • Wilson Heritage Museum, Wilson, Kansas
  • Morris County Historical Society, Council Grove, Kansas
  • Pioneer Bluffs, Matfield Green, Kansas
  • The Historical Cherryvale Museum, Cherryvale, Kansas
  • National Drovers Hall of Fame, Ellsworth, Kansas
  • Clay County Historical Society, Clay Center, Kansas
  • Geary County Historical Society, Junction City, Kansas
  • Dickinson County Historical Center, Abilene, Kansas 

Wilson Heritage Museum in Wilson, Kansas has recently acquired a museum building after a devastating fire destroyed the old museum and much of their collections. With 8 volunteers, these passionate community members are rebuilding collections and creating a space for genealogical research on a tight budget.

 Morris County Historical Society in Council Grove, Kansas boasts a large visitorship serving 9 towns in Morris County. It has an ambitious vision to enhance its outreach to a broader audience with interactive exhibits, to develop a digital archive, and build a website as a research and entertainment tool while maintaining a conservative budget.

Pioneer Bluffs, a historic Flint Hills ranch in Matfield Green, Kansas serves surrounding communities with vibrant programs reaching a wide audience interested in the stories and lifestyles of generations of ranchers in Kansas. Pioneer Bluffs hopes to develop a plan for their archive collection and make it available as an educational resource for visitors and researchers as well as the basis for informative programming.

The Historical Cherryvale Museum documents the unique history of a town that flourished due to railroads and oil. Since 1964, the museum has been maintained by generations of older volunteers. They are prepared to take Cherryvale into the future by establishing social media for the museum, recruiting younger volunteers, and enhancing exhibits.

National Drovers Hall of Fame in Ellsworth, Kansas is currently a wall display in a shop featuring the history of cattle trailing industry from colonial time to present day. But it is destined for so much more. Planning will help the National Drovers Hall of Fame determine the path to reach their objectives of being an economic driver for Ellsworth and preserving an important chapter in Kansas and U.S. history.

Clay County Historical Museum in Clay Center, Kansas has an impressive space. Staff and volunteers busily manage several historic sites and its large engaging collections. They are seeking to enhance exhibits even more by integrating more technology and boosting their social media presence.

Geary County has long served the county in collecting and disseminating its history. Located in Junction City, Kansas, Geary County Historical Society is looking to bolster fundraising opportunities to generate revenue for the museum’s programming, digitizing and archiving collections, and planning for the preservation of the St. Joseph’s site.

Dickinson County Heritage Center in Abilene, Kansas has notable programming which allows groups to experience historical life in the Midwest. In an effort to enrich their programming, they are planning a museum expansion with upgraded facilities to accommodate larger historical presentations and school group tours.