Sketch of the  west facing 100 block of  Downtown SterlingThree interlocking wheels with cogs

Drawings by Shirley and Winston Schmidt

       Our current exhibit, on display through January 27, 2023. features a number of pen and ink sketches done by either Shirley or Winston Schmidt or in collaboration with each other.
       Shirleybegan her illustrating and sketching career in the 1940s when she collaboratedwith Horace Jones of the Lyons Daily News illustrating numerous articles on the development and settling of the Kansas prairie. For the most part, these sketches were not only historical in nature but also generally humorous. Most feature characters straight out of the Old West and should be of great interest to those interested in caricatures of pioneer men and women.
       Mrs. Schmidt’s work with Mr. Jones continued into the early 1950s when she illustrated Kansas history articles by Ernest Dewey of the Hutchinson News. Shirley and Winston also did a series of monthly calendar drawings published on the front page of the Hutchinson News and depicted familiar and not-so-familiar subjects. These sketches, entitled “Kansas Sketches” were the inspiration of Mr. Stuart Awbrey, editor of the Hutchinson News and ran from 1966 to 1997.
      Winston Schmidt died in an airplane accident in 1977, and Shirley died in Hutchinson in 2012 at the age of 87.
       This exhibit will be on display until March 10,2023.

Coming Exhibit: WORK

       "The last 150 years hold stories about American workers that are too incredible to ignore: stories of hope, strength, dedication, unity, and bravery."
       This exhibit, part of a project initiated by the Smithsonian to teach people how to creaate an exhibit, was designed here in Lyons with the cooperation RCHS staff members and the interviewing and writing talents of Judy Jones.
       "Why We Worked," "How We Worked," and "Where We Worked" will go on display March 14, 2023, and close on July 14, 2023.

East Wall Display

       Our East Wall Display currently pays homage to Atlanta, the first town in Rice County. It was built on the Santa Fe Trail. There is a marker placed by the Daughters of the Americon Revolution just left of Highway 14/96 that indicates where the trail went through.

       The sketch below was done by Frank Cooper.

Frank Cooper sketch of the Atlanta townsite with buildings numbered  and described below.

Prior Exhibit

Then and Now

       From April 5, 2020 through April 5, 2022,Verl Manwarren, collections care manager, and Theresa Murphy, retired administrative assistant, took photographs of old sites in Rice County and placed some on the Museum’s Facebook page.   Numerous comments about the posted pictures gave rise to the idea of doing an exhibit on how the posted places looked in the past.  The recently taken photographs were placed beside old photographs from the RCHS photographic collection during the latter part of 2022. Sections of the exhibit covered downtowns, well-known local businesses, churches, schools, and homes.
       Coronado  Quivira Museum’s “Then and Now” exhibit was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and was on display for the latter part of 2022.

Santa Fe Depot, Lyons, Kansas

       Railroads were an important factor in the development and growth of towns throughout the United States.  If a railroad passed through a town,  the future looked bright.  The Santa Fe Railroad constructed a depot in Lyons during the early 1900s.   Four of the men shown in the old Santa Fe Depot photograph are from second left to right are Arch Dickerson, Floyd Holmes, Henry Keplinger, and Stanley Embree.  
       Rail service flourished and a new depot was constructed in the 1920s. The Santa Fe station was built in 1923 at a cost of $80,000.  According to the April 17, 1923, Lyons Daily News about 100 men worked on the building.  On December 7, 1923,  the station was dedicated and an opening held from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.  
       “Over a thousand persons visited, listened to the band and men’s chorus, partook of coffee and wafers served by the domestic science girls of the Lyons high school and were shown over the building and grounds by a reception committee headed by Cliff Blair.”    Lyons Daily News, December 18,1923.   
By the late 1950s, railroads were being replaced by commercial trucks using the new interstate highway system, and individuals became more reliant on their personal cars to get from one place to another. Throughout the nation, railroads and their depots were closed and went into disrepair. The Lyons Santa Fe Depot was closed on November 15, 1985, and stands vacant today.      

Wood frame depot from the corner with six men standing in fromt next to the tracks
Front view of the brick depot taken from the middle of the road in front.