"Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills" is the new fall exhibition at the Flint Hills Discovery Center

Flint Hills Discovery Center News Release

Contact: Megan Berry, Development Officer/Marketing Coordinator
(785) 587-2729 ext. 207, berrym@cityofmhk.com

New fall exhibition opens at Flint Hills Discovery Center, Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills

Manhattan, KS -- Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, "Home is the nicest word there is." Many of us long for home, but what if your town or home is no longer there? In this fall exhibition, explore hidden places in the Flint Hills and share what "Going Home" means to you.

“I hope visitors will feel a connection between themselves and the people of the past;” said Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, Exhibit Curator and Executive Director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, “that they see folks just like themselves who lived and worked and played in a place they also called home. We all long to go home, perhaps not in a physical sense, but in our memories. Going Home will help visitors do that in unique and profound ways.”

Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills is a collaboration between Chapman Center for Rural Studies, Kansas State University and the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

“The Going Home exhibit allows the FHDC and the Chapman Center to partner together in sharing information regarding the history of towns in our region and state,” said Susan Adams, Director, Flint Hills Discovery Center. “We are thrilled to be a resource to reach a broader audience.”

An interactive map of all verified towns will help visitors envision how the Flint Hills population waxed and waned. Vintage photos and video will be on display throughout the exhibit where visitors can explore broader themes such as communication and recreation in small town Kansas.

“One of the great things about Going Home is the way visitors can immerse themselves in the memories of rural home towns,” said Roy Garrett, Exhibits/Operations Manager, Flint Hills Discovery Center. “Large rephotographed murals cross-fade today with yesterday, inviting visitors to step into the past onto the street where they lived.”

Several iPad stations will be posted for more exploration of the seven featured towns. Towns represented in the exhibition include: Bodarc, Butler County; Cedar Point, Chase County; Chalk, Wabaunsee County; Maple City, Cowley County; Volland, Wabaunsee County and Big John Creek Village, Morris County.

“This exhibit will serve as an explanation of a few communities that have disappeared, plus many others that keep reinventing themselves,” said Adams. “It will provide great rural messages to send to the young and old about how these towns have affected us.”

Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills will feature a children’s area where kids can explore how Kansas kids of the past played and learned. Kids will be able to drive a turkey wagon, take care of animals, color in activity books in a school house, and play with Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys.

A variety of programs will be offered at the Flint Hills Discovery Center during the exhibition. Bus tours will visit historic Wabaunsee County, Historic Kaw Nation and Cedar Point Mill. Other programs include a kids’ dinner theater, adult event and two free workshops. Please visit www.flinthillsdiscovery.org/goinghome for more information on these programs.

This exhibition represents the work of undergraduate students over the past several years working with faculty in the Chapman Center for Rural Studies at KSU, and made possible by an estate gift from Mr. Mark Chapman.

Going Home greets you with open arms and is waiting to share memories of our rural Kansas Flint Hills home,” said Garrett.

FHDC members receive a sneak preview on Friday, September 23, 5:30-7 p.m. Please call (785) 587-2726 or email membership.fhdc@cityofmhk.com to reserve your space. Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills will be on exhibit Saturday, September 24, 2016 - Sunday, January 8, 2017.

For more information, please call (785) 587-2726 or visit www.flinthillsdiscovery.org.

About Flint Hills Discovery Center
The Flint Hills Discovery Center offers a unique tourism and community experience that inspires people to celebrate, explore, and care for the Flint Hills. The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a division of the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Manhattan. FHDC has been consistently ranked #1 of 30 things to do in Manhattan on TripAdvisor. Visit www.flinthillsdiscovery.org or call (785) 587-2726 for more information about programs or events at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

About Chapman Center for Rural Studies
The Chapman Center for Rural Studies is committed to researching, preserving and sharing the history of rural Kansas. Through the establishment of a research lab, archives, curriculum and publications, the Chapman Center will link the community of learners at Kansas State University with the communities of the past. The stories and lives of all peoples who shaped the history of this region are significant; and as a premier land-grant institution, Kansas State University supports and encourages the recovery of lived experience, lost towns and settlements, original lands, and changing landscapes. An important objective of the Center is the creation of a website storing histories of lost towns which are easily accessible by the internet. The Chapman Center is tasked with continually adding to and upgrading the site with the goal of listing most Kansas lost towns.

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