FUTURE, PRESENT and PAST Cooking up something historically delicious

By Steve Quakenbush

While the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be receding across southwest Kansas, despite some apparent Delta Variant spikes, we’re moving ahead at the Finney County Historical Museum with a series of events and activities since a significant portion of the community’s population has been vaccinated.

One of those events is our annual Pre-Labor Day Rib Sale, offering the chance to get some hot and ready-to-eat pork spare ribs, a beef tri-tip roast, or both, in time for you and your family to enjoy a meal that’s historically delicious as you mark the end of the summer.

The sale is under way at this time, with proceeds directed to museum exhibits and Finney County Historical Society programs.

We’re taking orders through Aug. 24, with pick-up from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2, the Thursday before Labor Day. That means you can take home your ribs or tri-tips for dinner that evening, or save all or part of your order for the holiday weekend.

Prepared by Webb’s Food Crew and Barbecue of Deerfield, each batch will be hot, ready and fully cooked. We’re offering racks of pork spare ribs at $32 each, and tri-tip beef roasts at $40 each. Our prices have gone unchanged for several years, but had to rise this summer because of the unpredictable variability in the U.S. meat market.

In addition to leaving with some outstanding barbecue, customers will also be taking home an informative hand-out about the heritage of livestock raising in southwest Kansas – a true history lesson to go. In addition, if you’re among those placing orders, we believe you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re supporting the preservation of Finney County’s past and the heritage left by those who have come before us.

We’re proud to work with Webb’s on this fund-raiser, since everyone knows about the quality of the meats they produce. We’ve also been proud each year to count on much-appreciated sponsorship by the Garden City Telegram.

Advance payment by cash or check is necessary and orders may be placed with any member of the FCHS Board of Directors, or by visiting the museum at 403 S. Fourth Street in Finnup Park. Our exhibit entrance at the front of the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, plus 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Beginning Aug. 9, those hours will switch to 1-5 p.m. seven days weekly; but our offices are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays year-round, via the museum’s north entrance.

Orders are subject to sell-out, by the way, so it’s important to place yours early. You can call with questions at 620-272-3664.


Meanwhile, we hope you will also take advantage of the chance to re-live local history by visiting our exhibits, during the display hours noted above, and to stop in at our gift shop so you can take home a little piece of the past.

The shop has added a new series of Kansas and Garden City souvenirs, including laser-etched wooden cutting boards and coasters; buffalo figurines in a variety of sizes; hanging metal ornaments in bison, sunflower and additional Kansas themes; colorful, vintage-style tourist tea towels in two sizes; glass and ceramic cream containers and shot glasses; several types of decorative Kansas magnets and quite a few other items.

Located inside the museum and open concurrently with exhibits, the store also offers toys inspired by past times, gifts and goods linked to area history and culture, historical videos and books on numerous topics in history – many by regional authors. There are also old-time and contemporary postcards and commemorative T-shirts in multiple styles recalling Garden City’s once-famous Big Pool and 1906-1955 sugar factory.

Speaking of shopping, we truly want to thank the 2,600 to 2,700 people who recently attended our 12th Annual Flea Market Festival of Antiques, Collectibles, Art and Crafts. The event drew vendors from eight Kansas and Oklahoma towns, who set up 30 booths July 10 just south of the Museum. With the Jungle Run VI car show under way simultaneously, we shared a great day in the sun and shade of Lee Richardson Zoo. We certainly want to credit the assistance of the zoo staff and Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo, Garden City Community College, 40 community volunteers, Nazarene Church youth and the Garden City High School Cross Country Team. We’re also grateful to our sponsors, Commerce Bank, Best Western Plus Emerald Inn and Suites and the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Finney County Historical Society is glad to be part of such a supportive community; and with our rib sale under way, we hope it’s also a community that’s hungry for some delicious Labor Day barbecue.

Steve Quakenbush is the executive director of the Finney County Historical Society. He can be contacted at HYPERLINK "mailto:squakenbush@finneycounty.org" or at squakenbush@finneycounty.org .