History on the Ground

Glove check! It was important to keep the integrity of the historical materials, many of which were hundreds of years old. Gloves helped protect the materials against the oils of the students' hands - not to mention they made everyone look so dashing!

Glove check! It was important to keep the integrity of the historical materials, some of which was over one hundred years old. Gloves helped protect the materials against the oils of the students’ hands – not to mention they made everyone look so dashing!

On October 24, HIST533 Lost Kansas Communities students, under the direction of Dr. MJ Morgan, traveled to Rock Creek Valley Historical Society in Westmoreland, Pottawatomie County. This museum generously allows students to browse original newspaper volumes — wearing white gloves, of course. Class members evaluated the weekly reports from tiny, lost Kansas towns and aggregate communities in order to write about small town values between 1910 and 1930. They also enjoyed the advertisements, in which patent medicines play a large role!

Digging into history with iconic advertisements in the background. Students were able to do more than just read about what they were studying in class at the Rock Creek Valley Historical Society on Thursday, October 24, 2013.

Digging into history with iconic advertisements in the background. Students were able to do more than just read about what they were studying in class at the Rock Creek Valley Historical Society on Thursday, October 24, 2013.

Student inspect the sides of the Summerhill Cabin, built in 1867 and was moved to Wabaunsee County from Nemaha County.

Student inspect the sides of the Summerhill Cabin, built in 1867 and was moved to Wabaunsee County from Nemaha County.

On the grounds of the museum is the Summerhill Cabin, built in 1867 in Nemaha County and moved later to Westmoreland. It was occupied until 1952! Students were able to study log cabin architecture and apply material learned in class about the origins of the log cabin — appearing by 1623 along the Delaware River south of what would one day be Philadelphia. The log cabin has become iconic in American frontier history — but it was not invented in North America! To learn who did create it…ask a student in History 533!

Many thanks to Nola Wilkerson, curator of the museum and historical society, for her open door policy.

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