This featured exhibit's debut is postponed until 2021. Richland, now extinct, served as an economic and social hub for rural families in the Wakarusa Valley as early as the 1870s. The U.S. Corps of Engineers began purchasing Richland property in 1967 for the Clinton Lake masterplan. The final two families vacated their homes in the fall of 1974. All remaining buildings were subsequently bulldozed. The exhibit's objective will be threefold: to convey Richland's historical importance to the region; spotlight longtime resident Dr. Weed Tibbitts (medical doctor, veterinarian and dentist); and honor memories of former residents by justly representing their voice through quotes gathered via oral histories.
This permanent exhibit defines the early years (1854-1875) of the communities established along the Wakarusa River Valley and to the settlers that formed the land and shaped local and national history. During this time, the Bleeding Kansas era brought many locals to the forefront of the national struggle over slavery including a vital role in the Underground Railroad.
ANGELS OF FREEDOM
Based on a historical book written by Martha Parker, the museum's founder, this exhibit tells the narrative of the heroic men and women of the Wakarusa Valley who showed extraordinary courage and commitment to freedom for all. Many who settled in the area were avid anti-slavery supporters, therefore it comes as no surprise that the transport of freedom seekers passed through the area via the Underground Railroad.
TO READ SOME EXCERPTS
FROM THIS EXHIBIT.