By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Third graders attend Pioneer Day
History comes alive at BCHS museum
Gunny sack races large group.jpg
Students from USD 428 Eisenhower Elementary School race one another in gunny sacks on the Barton County Historical Museum lawn Wednesday afternoon. Third grade students from all of the district’s elementary schools visited the museum for Pioneer Day, held the first Wednesday in May each year. - photo by Veronica Coons

Wednesday morning, the Barton County Historical Society Museum was closed to the public as staff and volunteers welcomed third grade students to Pioneer Day. Held the first Wednesday of May each year, the event has become a long-standing tradition with Great Bend’s Unified School District 428.

Students began arriving between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Groups were assigned and each began at a different station scattered throughout the museum grounds and inside the museum. Volunteers, some in costume, provided interpretation. 

Students learned about the history and pre-history of Barton County and Great Bend as they moved through the one-room school house, the train depot, the Lutheran church building, the Dodge House and the transportation and tool barns. They took part in low-tech games outdoors, including tug-of-war and gunny sack races. 

Inside, Great Bend Public Library staff were on hand to share the story of quilting, and to lead a quilt-making craft and a tin-punch craft. They were also encouraged to consider what various artifacts in the museum’s collection were used for in the every day lives of people who lived in this area long ago. 

Students enjoyed a sack lunch on the lawn of the museum grounds, and boarded buses mid-afternoon for the trip back to their schools. 

volunteers dress up as pioneers.jpg
Barton County Historical Society members and volunteers were on hand to help guide and interpret the many exhibits throughout the museum and grounds Wednesday. Several came in pioneer costume, and acted the part of Great Bend pioneers for the third grade students visiting on Wednesday. - photo by Veronica Coons