The Finney County Historical Society’s first Brown Bag Lunch program of 2018 is scheduled to kick off Tuesday, beginning a month-long series of presentations about history and related topics at noon each Tuesday in February.

The programs, which are free to the public, take place in the meeting room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth St. in Garden City’s Finnup Park. Those who plan to attend can enter via the north entrance.

The opening program Tuesday will focus on homesteading and settlement in Kansas, particularly in the southwest portion of the state. Based on research conducted by Johnetta Hebrlee, museum education coordinator, the program will focus on the Homestead Act, which was signed into law in May 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln and opened vast tracts of western land to settlement. That included property in Kansas, where the largest influx arrived after the Civil War.

The remaining program schedule includes:

• Feb. 13, “Boom Town…Then Ghost Town, Part I.”  This presentation is a new program, also by Hebrlee, and it will outline the rise and fall of the one-time Finney County towns of Santa Fe and Mansfield, as well as the history of Pierceville and the community once known as Sherlock.

• Feb. 20, “Boom Town…Then Ghost Town, Part II.”  The next segment will cover the establishment, growth, decline and demise of Knauston, Pitt, Amazon, Terryton, Imperial and Pasanada, all communities which now exist only in memory.

• Feb. 27, “Boom Town…Then Ghost Town, Part III.”  This talk will focus on the unincorporated community of Kalvesta, located in northeast Finney County.  The segment also will shed light on the former communities of Ravanna and Eminence, whose conflict over which would become the county seat led to the dissolution of Garfield County and the creation of Finney County’s northeastern Panhandle.

• March 6, The rescheduled program by Tanner, covering the serious issue of human trafficking from a contemporary standpoint, as well as addressing human trafficking in history.  The speaker is a co-founder of the Oasis of Peace Center and serves as the center’s director.

Museum staff will provide beverages and homemade dessert, and those who wish may bring their own lunch.