Anyone who has served as a volunteer at the Barton County Historical Society this year was invited Thursday to an appreciation reception and a sneak peek at the holiday exhibit. The public can view the exhibit free during the Ghosts of Christmas Past Open House from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Barton County Historical Society Village and Museum, south of the Arkansas River bridge on U.S. 281 in Great Bend.
Regular admission is $4, or free for members of the Barton County Historical Society.
Karen Naylor is the volunteer coordinator for the village and museum. She said approximately 40 people volunteer during the course of the year. A free orientation program is held every spring for returning and prospective volunteers.
The historical village is on its winter schedule, said Beverly Komarek, executive director. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Among the holiday displays are Ellinwood resident George Martin’s collection of wooden toys, and several Christmas trees decorated by area groups. Komarek’s husband Don decorated a “gumdrop tree,” sticking spiced gumdrops on the thorns of an Osage Orange branch. “About 70 years ago we used to put one up every year,” he recalled.
The village is part of the Great Bend Trail of Lights, and people entering Great Bend on U.S. 281 will see lights on the barn and other buildings. However, the historical St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is not lit this year because its lights were damaged during a hail storm.