The Barton County Historical Society and Museum has been awarded a Kansas Humanities Council mini-grant for a project entitled "South Hoisington: Stories From the Other Side of the Tracks."
Beverly Komarek, executive director of the museum, said the project will include oral histories with past residents of the community, which has mostly disappeared, but was once occupied predominately by African Americans. This Saturday, Angela Bates from the Nicodemus Historical Society will provide a training session on completing racially sensitive oral histories. The workshop will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Barton County Historical Society’s research library, located in the BCHS Museum just south of the Arkansas River bridge on U.S. 281 in Great Bend. Anyone who is interested in participating is asked to call 620-793-5125.
"The purpose of our project is to educate the surrounding communities of Barton County and throughout Kansas about the rich historical heritage of South Hoisington," Komarek said. "The community of South Hoisington has nearly disappeared, and its history only remains in some local residents’ memories.
"The BCHS plans on completing several oral histories with past residents of South Hoisington. Many of these past residents are elderly and it is imperative that their history is recorded. The interviews will be transcribed ... in order to provide written records of the audio recordings."
Anyone who is interested in participating in an interview or the project may call the historical society. The project will officially debut at the Barton County Historical Society in June, and copies of the project will also be made available to the Kansas State Historical Society, Great Bend Public Library, Hoisington Historical Society and Hoisington Public Library.