Friday, May 20, 2016

Prairie Museum of Art and History

This morning the weather was yucky--a cold wind, drizzle and temps in the 50's.  Duane was glad that he had time yesterday to get our trailer tire fixed.  When we arrived at our last stop, our pressure alarm let us know that there was a problem.  Duane pumped it up before we left and changed the monitor, but the the slow drop in pressure made him suspect a slow leak.  When we arrived here at Oakley, the tire happened to be turned to reveal a nail.  Within a couple of hours he had it repaired in town and back on the rig.  On the way home the GPS unit quit working.  We stuck it in the fridge for a few minutes, and he was able to get it working again.  Two problems solved!

The weather cleared up in the afternoon so we drove 20 miles west for some touring.

The town of Colby hosts the Prairie Museum of Arts and History.  The building is a 21,500 sq. ft. concrete building, but an earth berm planted with native buffalo grass encircles the building and blends with the surrounding prairie.  It houses the unique Kuska Collection, a gift of a local Kansas couple who collected glass, coins buttons and other minutia, furniture, ceramics, toys, dolls, stamps, clocks, silver, textiles, and just about anything else that's collectible. 

This was fun.

Guess which letters these windows represent.

I like writing desks.

I'd have this baby in my rv if I could fit it!

The doll collection had many famous dolls,

dolls of every ethnicity,

these famous dolls (I forgot their name) are an adult collectible, not toys.

and marionettes.  Recognize anyone?

Who doesn't like trains?  The one on the far right was running around the perimeter. 

Two of my childhood favorites--the plastic bricks  in the upper left, and the tops. 

Our picks from the glass collection--Roman Empire tear vase and 

Dresden carriage.  Guess who picked which.

Adjacent to and part of the Museum is a Prairie Living Site.  The outdoor exhibits reflect the lives of the pioneers that settled in Western Kansas in the 1870's and later.

Bed and quilt inside the 1930's house.  

The sod house shows the ingenuity of the homesteaders.  The late 19th century dwelling exhibits furniture, clothing, and other artifacts of pioneer life.  Sod blocks, 1'x2'x4" were used to build the home.  The walls of the soddy could be plastered or papered with newspapers.  Muslin was stretched across the ceiling to catch dirt, bugs, and the occasional snake, but didn't stop leaks.

A miracle happened!  When Duane walked into this church, the bells pealed out their joy (or their alarm)!  Took a few good rope tugs, though.

Not pictured were an old barn and a school.

This early type of wooden blade windmill is called "umbrella' or "morning glory", which was a common sight on the family farm.

This barn was moved 16 miles to here in one piece (picture in upper left).  Click on it to enlarge for reading.

The Cooper barn is the largest barn in Kansas, measuring 66' wide, 114' long, and 48' high.  Over 100 years of agriculture history, artifacts and photos are displayed within.  It is one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas Architecture.  

There were dozens of these infoboards.  Duane liked this one.

We agreed that we really enjoyed our visit to this museum and that it is one of the finest museum in the Midwest.  The artifacts in our pictures don't even begin to show how extensive the collection really is.  We vote this a must see for anyone traveling within 50 miles of Colby, KS.

Tomorrow we hope the weather will permit a bike ride.  Tune in and find out.

Louise and Duane
Duane picked the carriage.  I liked the Roman tear vase.

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

You put the GPS in the refrig. Why?
Wonderful museum. Looks like they did a great job on the displays.
You know how much I like anything that shows how people used to live.
HAHAHAHAHA...Duane and the bells...what a hoot.
Great tour.