Geary County Historical Society

Museum Exhibits | Other Services | Genealogical Research Information | Online Records | Membership and Volunteering Information | Family Research

 

The Geary County Historical Society Museum is located at 530 North Adams Street in Junction City, Kansas. The three-story, native limestone building which houses the museum has been described by architects as a "unique and magnificent structure and an outstanding example of the stonecutter's art." The building, originally the Junction City High School, was constructed in 1903 by local contractors, Ziegler and Dalton, at a cost of $30,000.

It served as the high school from 1904 to 1929. After the building was vacated by the school district in the 1970's, it was purchased by Junction City philanthropist Fred Bramlage, and donated to the Historical Society in 1982 as a permanent home for the museum. Society volunteers labored over a year to get the main floor ready for use and in May 1983, the Geary County Historical Museum opened its doors. In the years since, over half a million dollars have been raised from within the community and used to restore the entire building and develop the museum and its programs.

 

Services and Programs

 

Museum Exhibits

The museum galleries feature rotating exhibits which portray area history and lifestyles of the past. Exhibits include the country schoolroom, the Union Pacific Depot, a working print shop, and Main Street, among others. In addition, The Starcke/Henderson House Museum, located just south of the museum, is being developed to showcase the GCHS museum's growing collection of vintage household furniture and accessories. The Museum Hours are 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Tour guides are available.

 

 

Other Services

 

- An attractive Gift Shop featuring locally hand-crafted merchandise is open on the main level during museum hours.

- Docents in authentic period costumes conduct prearranged tours for groups of any size.

- The Museum Speakers Bureau offers programs on a variety of historical topics to schools and other community groups.

- Living History craft demonstrations, art exhibits, reenactments, lectures, and special programs are periodically offered at the museum.

- The Auditorium/Meeting Room is available for group functions, programs, and banquets. Seating capacity is approximately 125.

 

 

Genealogical Research Information

 

The museum houses local family histories and numerous varied records, including cemetery indexes for all cemeteries in Geary County, Birth, Marriage and Death information culled from local newspapers by volunteers, and local newspapers dating from the 1860's. An extensive photo collection is also available. In addition, many books on local and Kansas History are available for use in the Jeffries Research Room. A microfilm reader/printer is available. Look-ups are done by the Family Researchers Group for donations, which are used to expand the museum's microfilm collection. The Jeffries Research Room hours are 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

 

 

Online Records

 

Certain records are under development to be posted online for easy access. The Index to Surnames for Rural Cemeteries in Geary County is online and can be accessed here.   For questions regarding online records, contact keaton@flinthills.com.

 

 

Family Research

 

The Family Researchers Group meets on the first Saturday of each month at the Historical Society.  The Group does lookups on a volunteer basis for donations to the Society’s microfilm collection fund.  If you would like more information about joining the group or requesting a lookup, please contact Leona Garrison at dongarr@oz-online.net.

 

Membership Information and Volunteering

 

For information on joining the Geary County Historical Society, arranging group tours, volunteering to work in the Jeffries Research Room, or use of the Jeffries Research Room, please contact the Museum Director, Gaylynn Childs at gchsm@jc.net.

 

 

Some information and the photo of the Museum Building appearing here were borrowed from the brochure, "History Comes Alive at Junction City Kansas: The Geary County Historical Society & Museum," with the permission of Gaylynn Childs. This web site is designed and maintained by Jude Keaton. To report broken links or other problems, please email keaton@flinthills.com.