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- Virtual Museum
Can’t make it to the museum right now? That is OK, we have you covered with new virtual content!
Enjoy a special tour of the All-Electric House, a real 1954 ranch-style house that sits inside the museum. Explore great activities to pair with Little Golden Book stories, just like we read during “Retro Storytime” programming! Hear about the themes and major periods of Johnson County History with our exhibit overview videos. As always, check out all of the great content on our collaborative digital website, www.jocohistory.org. Read up on our bi-monthly JoCoHistory Blog, shared with the Johnson County Library, on www.jocohistory.wordpress.com. Find out all sorts of interesting facts and information that we regularly share on our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Find us by searching @JoCoMuseum, #JoCoMuseum, and #JoCoHistory!
Now Take a Look at More of the Johnson County Museum!
Learn at Home
Looking for activities that are education but also fun for children? We have you covered! We have adapted our museum scavenger hunt for use at home using our website, and turned our popular fieldtrip program, History Detectives, into Home Detectives! Plus, we have links available for Little Golden Book activities (just like Retro Storytime) and lots of historical coloring sheets to keep your little ones busy!
Becoming Johnson County
The Johnson County Museum tells the long story of the place we now call Johnson County, Kansas. From the Kansa, Missouria, and Osage peoples to the “Bleeding Kansas” era; from the dairy farms to the suburban neighborhood developments; from segregated communities to an increasingly diverse population; from Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant to business parks and corporate headquarters: it is all in our “Becoming Johnson County” main exhibit! Can’t visit the museum right now? Watch this series of overview videos to get a sense of what you’ll see when you can make it in to explore the exhibits for yourself, and to better understand Johnson County’s history!
King Louie West to the Arts & Heritage Center
The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center may only be a few years old, but it has been known and loved by Johnson Countians for decades. That is because before it became the county’s leading arts, culture, and history center, it was the King Louie West—a combination bowling alley, ice skating rink, and game room!
Thousands of people enjoyed weekly bowling leagues, hockey tournaments, birthday parties, and family outings to the King Louie. Learn a little more about the history of the building, the renovation process, and what you can do in the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center!
Wish you could find amazing historic photographs of Johnson County from several historical organizations all in one place? Wish you could read practically every page of the The Squire magazine? Want to browse back issues of the Johnson County Museum’s newsletter, The ALBUM? Or see how the county changed over time by looking at the 1874, 1902, and 1922 Atlas Maps of Johnson County?
Well, you are in luck! The collaborative website www.jocohistory.org was created with special IMLS grant funding in 2006, and features great historic content from several partners, including the Johnson County Museum, the Johnson County Library, the Johnson County Archives, the Overland Park Historical Society, the Olathe Public Library, the Kansas School for the Deaf, and the Lenexa Historical Society. It also features special content, such as digitized versions of The Squire, the Atlas Maps of Johnson County, aerial photographs of the county, and the Museum’s Historic Preservation Survey photographs. You can spend hours searching content from all, one, or as many organizations as you want. Check it out today!
The Johnson County Museum and the Johnson County Library share a history blog! Each institution posts once per month, sharing interesting stories from Johnson County’s history and content related to the Museum’s special and permanent exhibits. You never know what you will read on the JoCoHistory blog! Read more and search the back posts!
Lanesfield Historic Site Audio Tour
The Johnson County Museum’s second site, a stone one-room school house located outside Edgerton, Kansas, is full of history. Nearby, the Battle of Bull Creek occurred in 1856, a skirmish between pro-slavery forces and abolitionists. The town of Lanesfield, founded shortly after was a thriving community—until the railroad bypassed the town. All that remains today is the 1869 Lanesfield School, interpreted for school fieldtrips and the public as a typical 1904 Kansas one-room school. The Santa Fe Trail was within sight of the school, and the nearby Gardner Junction Park relates the history of the point of divergence between the Santa Fe and the Oregon and California Trails.
Even while the Lanesfield School and the interpretation center are closed, the grounds remain open to visitors. A number of plaques relate the history of the site. They can be paired with this audio tour, or enjoyed separately. Take a listen!
Lanesfield School Historic Site is located at 18745 S Dillie Road, Edgerton, KS 66021
*NEW* Digital Exhibitions
Johnson County has a rich history of multiculturalism and fighting for human rights. Take a look into the past to discover where Johnson County, Kansas has been and together we can dream of where we're headed. In these digital exhibits, the Johnson County Museum uncovers the stories of women standing tall for their rights to vote, get to know the history of Latinos in the heart of America, and meet the Webb family as we look at the history of African-Americans in the sunflower state.