Happy birthday, Wichita! You turn 148 years old this year, and the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is holding a birthday party.
On Saturday, July 21, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., get FREE admission to the party and to the museum when you bring a birthday card. Special museum tours, activities, crafts, and refreshments are planned for the event.
And this isn’t ONLY the birthday of Wichita – it’s also the 128th birthday of Wichita’s original City Hall at 204 S. Main St., which is now the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum.
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is celebrating two special birthdays on Saturday, July 22nd — the 148th anniversary of the founding of Wichita, and the 128th anniversary of Wichita’s Original City Hall, home to the Historical Museum since 1980.
Wichita was officially “born” July 21, 1870. Twenty years later, a grand ceremony was held on July 4, 1890 to celebrate the laying of the City Hall cornerstone.
If you’ve never been to WSCHM, this will be a great time to go. The museum’s mission is to preserve and educate others about our local history. Exhibits in the old 1890 Wichita City Hall (the clock-tower building downtown) span four floors and are as eclectic as Wichita’s history. Core exhibits include the entrepreneurial history of our city, the dust bowl, a 19th century Victorian cottage, its Native American roots, a 1916 Jones VI automobile (ask them how they got it into the building!), and more.
My family enjoys our visits every time we go. The photo below shows a working 20th century phone booth with a rotary dial phone. I think I may be a relic, because I had to show my teenager how to use it! (If I’m not mistaken, the phone booth is a permanent exhibit, so it’s probably still there. Bring a dime and let your kids make a local phone call.)
Date: Saturday, July 21, 2018
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Location: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main St., Wichita, KS
Cost: FREE with birthday card
For more information, visit WichitaHistory.org
Fun fact: Wichita was incorporated as a city on July 21, 1870. One of the signers of the incorporation petition – and the only woman – was Billy the Kid’s mother, Catherine McCarty. Interesting, right? I first learned about this at a Diamond W Wranglers concert, and then later looked it up in the history of Wichita at the Wichita Metro Chamber website.
Find more of Wichita’s FREE Museum Days!