Steve Quakenbush

While the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted a lot of traditions in our community, at the Finney County Historical Museum we’re surging ahead on the events and activities that we’re still able to conduct, with some obvious alterations and adjustments for safety.

One of those is our annual Pre-Labor Day Rib Sale, offering the chance to get some hot and ready-to-eat pork spare ribs, or 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. Stay tuned, because there’s more about that below.

First, however, it’s time to focus on a few other opportunities.


One of those opportunities is the chance to re-live local history by visiting our exhibits. Even if you haven’t been able to take an out-of-town vacation this season, you’ll find our front doors open 1 to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and the only upcoming exception will be Sept. 7. Admission is free and you can spend as much or as little time as you like viewing displays dedicated to Garden City co-founder C.J. “Buffalo” Jones, the Santa Fe Trail, Finney County Agriculture and others, including some of the community’s challenges of the past, such as the Blizzard of 1957, the flood of 1965 and the tornado of 1967.

You can also view thousands of years of natural and cultural history, and prehistory, in the Spirit of the Plains Gallery; and step over into the True Crime Exhibit to learn how Western Kansas law enforcement officers solved the crime spree of the infamous Fleagle Gang of the 1920s and the tragic Clutter murders of 1959 in Holcomb.

In addition, we’re planning to offer our free noon hour and Evening at the Museum history lectures again this fall in the museum’s Mary Regan Conference Room. We’re setting up socially-distanced seating, without refreshments other than coffee and tea, and we may limit attendance to 40 people per session.

We’ll announce the programs soon but you can mark your calendar now for noon on the second Wednesday of the month, Sept. 9, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11. The evening presentations will take place on the third Tuesdays, Sept. 15, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that we’re still offering visits from 2 to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday at the historic William Fulton House, located southwest of the museum inside Lee Richardson Zoo, with support from the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The 1884 Folk Victorian home, built by one of Garden City’s founders, will remain open each weekend through Sept. 5-6, also with social distancing precautions.


Now, about that rib sale. It’s under way at this time, with proceeds directed to museum programs and exhibits. The sale is sponsored by The Garden City Telegram again this year, and we greatly appreciate the newspaper’s support.

We’re taking orders through Aug. 25, with pick-up from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3, 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 $28 each, and tri-tip beef roasts at $36 each. Those prices, by the way, are unchanged from the last several years. Customers will also leave with information hand-outs about the heritage of livestock raising in Southwest Kansas - a true history lesson to go.

We’re proud to work with Webb’s, since everyone knows about the quality of the meats they produce. 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 in Finnup Park. Orders are subject to sell-out, so it’s important to place yours early. You can call with questions at 620-272-3664.

Whether you’re coming to delve into the past, do a little shopping at our gift store, visit the 136 year old home of William and Lettie Fulton, attend one of our autumn programs or place your order for a rack or two of ribs, we hope to see you soon. We’re dedicated to preserving history, and that’s why we’re continuing as many traditions as possible this year.

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 .