Ever wonder about the life on a Kansas farm in 1929? You don’t have to go far to experience the quiet simplicity of farm life how it was in Shawnee at the first part of the 20th century. Just head to Old Shawnee Town at 11501 West 57th Street in Shawnee where you will learn about the “truck farmers” that were so prevalent then. The self-sustaining farms provided all the essentials for the families and the rest was sold in town from the back of their trucks.
Originally designed as an 1800’s prairie museum, Old Shawnee Town has been evolving to the current 20’s theme and plans are unfolding to include many more sites. But for now, walk through the house complete with icebox and Victrola, sit on the rocking chairs on the porch, see the original trucks from the 20’s in the garage and admire the working garden full of veggies. Go into a schoolhouse, barber shop, fire department and mercantile and see real artifacts (some buildings are original and some are replicas). Even included is a funeral home (creepy..) and a room with a morgue and creepier still, the medical implements used in the autopsies!
Old Shawnee town keeps learning fun by providing ongoing events. Their monthly speaker series offers snacks and interesting topics like old soda fountains of Kansas, 1920’s football between KU & MU, and folk music’s relationship with history. They also offer school programs for grades 1-5, concerts and, my favorite, food making classes! Upcoming classes include beer making, sausage making (October 10th) and, November 10th, CHOCOLATE!
With Halloween around the corner, mark your calendars for October 24th when Old Shawnee town will hold Historical Hauntings featuring trick-or-treating, tractor drawn hayrides, costume contests and more. Admission for this event is free but $1 donation is appreciated.
Make sure to get to Old Shawnee Town soon. It’ll be the bees knee’s!
Hours; March through October 10-4:30 Tuesday – Saturday / gift shop and exhibit open year round 9-5 Monday – Friday/ Admission $3 per adult, $1 per child.
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