LARNED — The Santa Fe Trail Center has launched a new exhibit series, “Who We Are -- Faces of Pawnee County.”
Each exhibit in the series will feature a different resident of Pawnee County.
The first exhibit in the series is about Jack Krieger, the first soldier from Larned to die during World War II in November of 1943. Krieger served in the U.S. Marines and was killed Nov. 20, 1943 during the Battle of Tarawa Island in the South Pacific.
The exhibit includes pictures from his youth, his war diary, the Purple Heart that was posthumously awarded, information about the battle he died in, and more. The exhibit will be up until Jan. 18, 2014.
As the institution responsible for preserving and sharing the history of this area of Kansas the Trail Center feels that Who We Are will allow the museum to connect on a more personal level with the residents of the county.
Exhibits will include personal items, photographs, and other archival items, such as diaries.
The Trail Center plans to debut a new exhibit in the series twice a year, one in fall and another in spring. Each exhibit will be on display approximately two months and be located in the west gallery of the museum.
The next exhibit in the series will feature Lela Zook Martin. Lela, a school teacher at Zook from 1928 to 1935, was an avid quilt collector. The museum recently received a donation of her quilts, from her son Carl Martin. Due to the renovation of the east gallery the exhibit will likely not debut until late spring. Many of the items from the east gallery have been moved to the west gallery temporarily.
Rinaldo R. Smith, also known as Comrade Smith, will also be featured.
The exhibit series, “Who We Are -- Faces of Pawnee County,” is possible in part because of a Golden Belt Community Foundation Grant received this year. The grant helped the museum purchase a large format printer which allows the museum to print professional quality interpretive panels in-house.
The Trail Center could not afford to have panels of this quality if the museum had to have them printed elsewhere. The printer will also be an invaluable tool in the renovation on the east gallery, currently underway.
The Santa Fe Trail Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Trail Center is two miles west of Larned on K-156. For information, call (620)285-2054.