Notable Event: In early November, 2012, Chapman Center assisted the Beach Museum of Art at KSU in evaluating the contents of a collector’s cabin retreat in Wabaunsee County. Interns, students, professors, and personnel from Wabaunsee County Historical Society crowded into former art professor Max Miller’s tiny cabin. His amazing collections, books, Americana, and one-of-a-kind items provided a true hands-on experience in historical evaluation and research. The Miller bequest to the Beach Museum was the foundation for bringing diverse peoples together. Students and interns have provided some interesting feedback!
Interns try to settle on a way to approach the collected items.
“I knew it was going to be interesting when I noticed the tuba placed high in a tree for decoration. Oh, and the tombstone/gravesite not 100 ft from the front door! The sheer number of items inside the cabin was overwhelming. Every nook and cranny of this little cabin was packed full of Mr. Millers life experiences. Items were even placed on the ceiling, porch, siding and outhouse. But it was extremely interesting and the experience gained was invaluable. I would volunteer again in a heartbeat.” — Rebecca Hall, History 533 student volunteer
And inside we found…even more stuff!
Surely the most unique outhouse in North Central Kansas…
Even up above….
Lost Kansas Communities senior history major Grant Peters is copying the inscription from a child’s tombstone found on the Max Miller property in southern Wabaunsee County. Nellie Harrolds died in 1885, age five, and was buried above a valley where seven different springs arose. This area became the future site of Lake Wabaunsee.
Interns and Lost Communities students spent four hours Saturday afternoon, Nov. 10, inventorying the contents of the Miller cabin, left in a bequest to the Beach Museum at KSU. Stay tuned for more photos and revelations about this experience!
Jessica Wheeler, Chapman Intern, talked about her time at the cabin: “Undoubtedly, the Cabin Adventure has been the most surprising and unique experience I have had as an intern. The sheer amount and diverse nature of the objects in the cabin made for a collage of priceless history intermixed with bizarre oddities. It was a wonderful experience that can’t be replicated, and I will never forget!”
Dr. Morgan and Chapman interns Janet Adam, Aaron Melby, and Jessica Wheeler spent several hours researching at Onaga Historical Museum on Sunday. Nov. 4. They drove north and east across the wide, vacant prairies of northern Pottawatomie County, through tiny, almost-gone communities like Blaine, Fostoria and Wheaton. Onaga, a late 1870s railway town, has a restored schoolhouse as well as a log cabin on the grounds of the museum. Also nearby is a Union Pacific caboose. Dr. Morgan and Jessica, researching the impact of the railways on Onaga’s development, just had to climb onto the rear platform!
Museum coordinators and volunteers Rheva Boswell and Linda Tessendorf were so helpful to the interns. In addition to opening the museum on a Sunday afternoon for us, they located early maps and atlases, allowed Aaron to search an 1899 bound newspaper, the Onaga Herald, and even went home to fetch some documents and listings. Janet was thrilled to discover a previously unknown poor farm operating near Louisville; only a cemetery remains. Aaron perused the Vienna Township Justice of the Peace Record Book for evidence of bootlegging and found three significant cases! Jessica collected information on the development of Onaga itself, in tandem with two railroads defining its early growth.
Because the local historical societies of our service area hold rich resources for student research, Chapman Center is continually grateful for their cooperation and generosity. Thank you, Rheva and Linda!
Samples of resources at the Onaga museum with information valuable for intern projects. Dr. Morgan comments, “These compiled sources, created through hours of volunteer work by community members, often contain newspaper accounts, copies of records and letters, and topographical references unavailable anywhere else.”
First year history graduate student Katie Goerl talks about her research as a Chapman Center intern. On Oct. 30, Katie and Dr. Morgan as well as Dr. Sue Zschoche from the history dept. all participated in a KSBN event, “Speaking the Silences: Race and Gender in Kansas History.”
Katie is describing her interesting findings from a year-long internship project on female one-room schoolhouse teachers in their first year. Dr. Morgan discussed the work of 2009 intern Maggie Henson, who investigated medical care for African-Americans in Manhattan and Junction City before 1930.