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“Challenging Crossroads in Trego County” is the newest exhibit on display at the museum. 

Since our early settlers arrived in the area, they faced different hardships along the way as they established their homesteads.  Over the years, tornados, fires, and blizzards, were just a few of the adversities that made settling this area a challenge.  Our exhibit features these crossroads that the county has encountered and highlights the 1950’s when the residents of the county coped with three major disasters that affected their communities.   

            The exhibit tells the stories of the tornado that hit WaKeeney in June of 1951, the fire in downtown WaKeeney on Russell Avenue in 1956, and the blizzard in March of 1957, which disrupted the lives of residents in the area. 

The Trego County Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 12 noon.  Special hours will be Sundays throughout May from 1 to 4 p.m. 

This exhibit is a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and Humanities Kansas. 

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation brings another exciting piece to the exhibit.  They are promoting healthy lifestyles and have different challenges for visitors.  One challenge is “Let’s Get Moving” and a great way to do that is exploring the new hiking trail at Cedar Bluff State Park.  This trail shares the history of the Smoky Hill Trail and the Butterfield Overland Despatch. Our display at the museum will tell the story of the hardships that can along with traveling on the BOD.       

Along with the feature display, the TCHS Graphics Art Class designed posters which depicted future crossroads that the county might face. 

          A special opportunity is available for guests to explore all six sites and then be entered in a drawing for prizes.  Brochures are available at the museum for visitors to learn more about the events and programs at each location.  The drawing will be held at the end of the six-week tour of the exhibits during the week of June 13.    

Crossroads: Change in Rural America exhibit is coming to northwest Kansas in May.  This Smithsonian exhibit will be displayed in Norton at the Gloria Nelson Cultural Arts Center from May 1 through June 13.   Five area museums are partner sites to the exhibit and each partner site will share a story of events in their communities that brought change to their residents’ way of life.  The five partner sites are WaKeeney, Hoxie, Oberlin, Colby, and Goodland.  The Historical Society is creating this special display which will feature several events that impacted the area and a look into the future.      


Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century.  The exhibition will prompt discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred. 

This cultural project is under the direction of Museum on Main Street, which has been sharing the Smithsonian’s resources with rural America since 1994.  It is a partnership of the Smithsonian and the state humanities council.  Support for Museum on Main Street has been made possible through the generous support of the United States Congress.  

The Crossroads exhibit first opened in August 2020 in Iola, Kansas and has been on exhibit throughout Kansas since last year.  The final exhibit display will be in northwest Kansas starting on May 1.    


This is your chance to visit six different communities to learn about their crossroads in rural America.  These displays are made possible by the Smithsonian Institute and Humanities Kansas.  Brochures are available at each location for specific information on the exhibits and programs.   

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