Anyone who has ever wanted more information about an exhibit at the Barton County Historical Village and Museum usually has only to ask Beverly Komarek or one of her many volunteers. But now some of the items on display can tell their own story, thanks to interpretive signs going up in the museum’s historic and authentically furnished period buildings.
The metal signs include the name of each exhibit, its donor and a bit of information, said Komarek, executive director of the Barton County Historical Society. They were purchased with a grant made possible by a donation to the Golden Belt Community Foundation.
There are two types of signs. There are free-standing metal signs such as the one in the Transportation Building where a 1931 Model A Ford truck is displayed. The yellow truck, known at “Miss Buttercup,” was donated by Marjorie Morgenstern.
The historic church sports a grouping of wall plaques, letting visitors know it was St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Albert before coming to the village. Signs list the first and last members from 1876 to 1964, and some other milestones in its history.
The village is located on five acres just south of Great Bend on U.S. 281, across the Arkansas River Bridge. Its exhibits tell the story of this area from the Paleo Period through the Indian Wars to World War II. There are also more modern exhibits, including the Wall of Fame, a prefabricated, post-World War II Lustron home, and a biplane built in 1975 by Kenneth Tate.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from April through October. It remains open in the winter with an abbreviated schedule. Admission is free to Barton County Historical Society members and $4 for non-members 16 years and older.
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