Free Going Home Workshops Offered in December

cedar-point-chase_county_1901_platmap_photos_111_cchs_053116You are invited to a Free Restoring Historic Photographs Workshop this Saturday, Dec. 3, 2-4:30 pm, at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in conjunction with our “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit!

You’ll explore advanced Adobe Photoshop techniques to improve digital materials (scans and digital photographs). You’ll also learn how to optimize scanning, restore original coloration, and repair small photo blemishes and irregularities. You are encouraged to bring your own photographs and Photoshop-equipped computers. You can practice a wider ranges of techniques with provided materials and technology. Computer terminals will be first come, first served. Tom Parish is the visiting instructor in Digital Humanities at the Chapman Center for Rural Studies and will lead the workshop. Spaces are limited, please preregister by calling 785-587-2726.

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Free Oral History Workshop
Saturday, December 10, 2016, 2-4 pm

Flint Hills Discovery Center

Join “Going Home” Exhibit Curator, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, for the Free Oral History Workshop, December 10, a lively workshop where you will learn how to conduct your own oral history interviews with friends, family, and more. Lynn-Sherow, Executive Director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Exhibit Curator, will offer hands-on instruction in interview technology including the StoryCorps‘ app,  She will share tips for a successful interview. No registration is required. Workshop is free and open to all ages.

As always, you are encouraged to explore the Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ “Going Home” featured exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. You have until January 8, 2017, to discover – and record your own – Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills.

Swing by the special exhibit website at http://goinghome.gallery for a preview of what you’ll find at the “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit!

Adams Peak Cemetery: Adventure in History

Lost Kansas Communities Students and Gravestones

Blog by Mallory Harrell, CCRS Fall 2016 Intern

In September, Dr. MJ Morgan, her Lost Kansas Communities class, and other interested visitors participated in a field trip to the Adams Peak cemetery located in western Pottawatomie County. The cemetery had once been a part of the town of the same name, now long gone. Dr. Morgan’s purpose of the trip was to give students opportunity to learn about the process of deciphering and drawing information from head stones which are often rich sources of historical research.

Adams Peak lies within the Shannon Township of Pottawatomie County. It was named for the small hill that was reportedly located near the site of the community’s post office. This cemetery and the names etched upon the stones are all that remain of the town.  The gravestones yield what may seem like a Adams Peak Gravestonemodicum of information which can be absolutely vital in forming a cohesive part of the history of any town.

Using the gravestone inscriptions, students were able to construct a simple history of the toll disease took within Adams Peak town. Student research later confirmed epidemics of scarlet fever, diphtheria, and small pox in the area. This was especially supported by the tragic abundance of small children’s graves within the cemetery. In particular, one family had appeared to have lost four children to disease in a very short period. Many of these stones were very difficult to read due to their age, which resulted in many students adopting whatever position necessary to read them.

in the grass at Adams PeakFor example, the grave being examined in the photo at right, is one of the oldest in the cemetery. This student found it necessary to lie flat on his stomach to read it.

Dr. Morgan commented that this field trip marked a record for her as the 75th rural Kansas site visited and also being an opportunity to allow students from five different Chapman Center Courses to explore visible evidence of the past. According to Dr. Morgan: “This was Mark Chapman’s original vision for our Center. He wanted K-State students to learn by going out into the hidden places of Kansas, even if it meant – as with Adam’s Peak – encountering these sad stories of human struggle and loss.”

It’s no secret that history can be full of tragedy, but it’s clear that no tragedy can shake the human spirit that is constantly at work within human society throughout the ages. By learning about the sad events of yesteryear we become wiser in our endeavors for the future. It is the duty of any historical researcher to preserve those lessons taught by the past and to make sure that we continue to search for them wherever they may be.

Lillis, Kansas: In Puzzle Pieces

10122016-lillis-ksby Mallory Harrell, CCRS Fall Intern 2016

Every semester, K-State students enrolled in Dr. Morgan’s ‘Lost Kansas Communities’ class are given the responsibility and opportunity to create their own piece of historical research. This is the very research fueling a large portion of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies.

Among the students enrolled this semester is Mary O’Connor, and her subject? The lost town of Lillis, Kansas, a community which once flourished in southeastern Marshall County on Irish Creek, established between the years of 1856 and 1860.

O’Connor, a senior majoring in psychology, enrolled in ‘Lost Kansas Communities’ after taking a history of Kansas class over the past summer. Her interest in Kansas history grew as a result of both the class and her personal ties to Kansas. “I’m interested in the Kansas historical aspect because it’s where I’m from, and there are many stories about resilience.”

10122016-lillis-ks-blueprintMiss O’Connor also intends to offer a very personal touch to her project. She explained that her interest in researching Lillis largely stems from her own family history. “I’m mostly interested in it because it was founded by Irish Catholics and my Catholic background roots are from Nebraska. I wanted to find something similar because my family has a very similar story.”

One of the more fascinating aspects of the Lillis project involves a town plat that had been donated to the Chapman Center several years ago. It came in many pieces due to its age.

Mary has committed to piecing together the plat like a puzzle as a part of her project. “It’s cool to see that piece of history and not knowing its story, it’s like a cool mystery to put together because you can tell it has a lot of history behind it.”

Mary is also grateful to be working with another donated collection from Francis Hupp, long-time resident of Lillis.

Linda Hupp Morse offered this collection of letters, newspaper clippings, maps, and stories collected over a lifetime by her mother, Frances Hupp, of Topeka. Mary is excited for the opportunity to interview Francis Hupp about her memories of Lillis.

This emphasizes one of the most fundamental rules in studying history:  information can be found anywhere even if one may not know exactly where and how to begin looking. All it takes is a little passion and enthusiasm!

Welcome Fall 2016 Interns!

Meet the Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ three new interns: Brandon, Bo, and Mallory.

They have joined the Center while we usher in the “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit. Each have helped prepare thematic and town displays, clean artifacts, and keep the coffee flowing!

Brandon Williams, CCRS 2016 Fall InternBrandon Williams

I am a sophomore history major; I plan on finishing my undergraduate degree by 2021 before pursuing a PhD. I hope to one day be a historian who emphasizes research on small rural towns.

I am currently working on an inventory of a collection of articles donated to the Washington County Historical Society in tandem with the Lueb Camera Collection. In addition to this, I am going to be creating a second inventory on a collection of glass plate negative photographs taken of the small town of Clifton, Kansas, held in the town’s museum. I was born in Springfield, Missouri, but spent much of my life growing up in Kansas City, Kansas. I am a member of a large, blended family. My step-mother is a Kansas State University alumni and was a pivotal part to my coming to K-State for college.

Outside of my family, I am passionate about being outdoors, as I hunt, fish, and trek hiking trails. When not outdoors I enjoy writing, pottery, and spending time with my friends.

 

Bo Lin, CCRS Fall 2016 InternLin Bo

I’m currently a senior from Guangzhou, an hour west of Hong Kong, China. I want to pursue graduate school in Europe and expand my perspectives on correlation between the past, current, and the future. I would like to be in the field of Medieval Studies in the future education.

I am working on a project that relates to a monastery in Scipio, a vanishing town in Anderson County, Kansas. I am focusing on a mission that this monastery was sent out to Texas in 1881. I’m excited to be researching religious history and contributing to the Chapman Center.

I like playing chess when I am free because it is literally a game about history. I also like debating with people and discussing current events. After all, we all live in history.

 

Mallory Harrell, CCRS 2016 Fall InternMallory Harrell

I am a senior majoring in history and am planning to graduate May 2017. My current plans following graduation include furthering my experience working in the fields of either public or archival history. I also plan on pursuing a graduate program in either museum studies or library science.

My internship project primarily involves the production of a history and inventory for a series of primary source documents pertaining to the Clay Center Library Club. This project will be in collaboration with both the Chapman Center for Rural Studies as well as the Clay Center Historical Society, as the documents I will be examining are recent additions to their collections. I’m especially thrilled to be conducting research on a subject that has never before been explored and one that relates to my love of literature. I am also generally excited for the opportunities that the Chapman Center may make possible through the experiences I’ll have here throughout the semester.

I’m from a small town near Kansas City called Tonganoxie. I’m a lover of history and all things literary.  I have my history-teacher mother and speech-teacher father to thank respectively for each of these. I also share a love of discussing theater, animation, film, and several other visual mediums with my sister Lauren. In my spare time, I can often be found exercising, watching history documentaries or reading classical literature.

Welcome HistoryCats!

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Volland, Kansas, School, ca. 1860. Courtesy of Wabaunsee County Historical Society.

Welcome WildCats to a new year and new opportunities to Make History!

With classes in Lost Kansas Communities, Advance Seminars in History, and History of the United States to 1877 starting; our “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit launching to the public September 24 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, and interns working on Middle Kansas projects and more, the Chapman Center for Rural Studies is a busy place!

You are invited to explore our refreshed “Chapman Center Research Collections” online which houses our Lost Kansas Communities research, maps, and other thematic exhibits such as “Kansas History and Life.” Several town studies have been added this summer and there are more to come!

Keep an eye on the Rural Telegraph blog, our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel for up-to-date information about your Chapman Center for Rural Studies!

And Go WildCats! Make History!

New Video Trailers: “Going Home” Exhibit, September 24, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, “Home is the nicest word there is.”
What if your home or hometown no longer stands?

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies will host “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills,” an exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, starting September 24. You are invited to explore the histories of seven Flint Hills, Kansas, towns including: Bodarc, Broughton, Cedar Point, Chalk, Maple City, Volland, and Big John Creek Village, the Kansas home of the Kaw Nation. Kids will have a very special area dedicated to exploring how Kansas kids of the past played, learned, and more!

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An interactive map of all verified towns will help you envision how the Flint Hills population waxed and waned. Vintage photos and video will be displayed throughout the exhibit where you can explore towns and ideas like communication, travel, and recreation of Kansas’ past. Several iPad stations will be posted for more exploration of the seven featured towns.

Plan to stop at the Story Store, a place to record your memories of home throughout the exhibit. This is also where we will partner with nationally-recognized, StoryCorps, in November. “StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” We hope to add Flint Hill stories to their archive housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

This exhibition represents the work of undergraduate students working with Chapman Center for Rural Studies faculty and made possible by an estate gift from Mr. Mark Chapman. The stories, images, sounds and exhibit films were written, discovered, and created by an amazing and talented group of young scholars who care deeply about the Flint Hills. ( View more videos on our YouTube channel!)

The exhibition opens Saturday, September 24, at 10 am to the public.

Explore hidden places of the Flint Hills and their stories! You’ll also be invited to tell us all about what ‘Going Home’ means to you. 

Visit the Chapman Center for Rural Studies on YouTube for more video trailers, student-crafted multi-media projects, and discussions of rural Kansas history.

Remembering Cathy: A thank you from us all

Blog by Dr. MJ Morgan
Research & Curriculum Director, Chapman Center for Rural Studies

photo of Cathy Haney

Cathy Haney’s 2016 interview with Chapman Center for Rural Studies researchers

Cathy Haney, enthusiastic curator and historian at Clay County Museum, left us June 21, 2016. She was spearheading a massive effort to move the museum from its location in an old hospital to a newly-acquired building downtown. Cathy, we will miss you so much! Dr. Morgan, Research Director, will especially miss you, for your openness and willingness to welcome undergraduate (and graduate) researchers was unparalleled.

As Dr. Morgan said at a June 27 memorial service, “Cathy never said no.” Chapman Center for Rural Studies faculty and students could call to the museum, make an inquiry, and Cathy was waiting with materials and sources.

Folders, albums, newspaper files would appear; CDs of scanned photos were available, genealogy collections materialized – and the right ones. Students could sit at tables with newspaper volumes while Cathy made on-the-spot phone calls to community members and those living out in the small towns of Clay County, setting up interviews. Her mind was a ready clearing house for all kinds of historical information, and she shared that so generously. Over the years, she probably supported the research of over 25 separate student projects.

The most intensive of these was the Broughton Project, resulting in the publication of our first book, Broughton, Kansas:  Portrait of a Lost Town, 1869-1966 (2010). Underwritten and supported by Mark Chapman, this project took over four years to complete. It was based on forty interviews of former Broughton residents, some living in Arkansas, California, and New York. Without Cathy’s help, we would not have had a book. Like Mark Chapman, Cathy was born and raised in the tiny crossroads village of Broughton. Her family names of Harris and Scheinkoenig connected her to early settling families, and did she have the stories!

“My great-grandmother, Mary Catherine Harris – I was named for her – was still picking apples, up on ladders in her orchard, in her late seventies. She dropped the apples into her big apron. You couldn’t stop her.”

Cathy, you were so like your great-grandmother:  vital, energetic, irrepressible, a lover of projects and history, interested in people, connections, life! Because of your efforts and interest, every semester, research classes make trips to the old Broughton town site. The Harris orchards are long gone now, but on these field trips, we’ll especially think of you.

Spring 2016 LKC Broughton Field Trip