Old Jefferson Town
The Jefferson County Historical Society has moved structures from around the county to Old Jefferson Town in Oskaloosa, Kansas, a nearly 10 acre park that includes a blacksmith shop, jail, general store, chapel, school house, Victorian home, and the John Steuart Curry boyhood home & museum. Also housed at Old Jefferson Town are the genealogical research building, a bandstand, and a native grass prairie. The Research Center Library is open Saturdays, 1 to 5 PM throughout the year, and Sundays from 1:30 to 5 PM in April through November.
Plans for this "Village of Yesteryear" began in 1967 when the Jefferson County Historical Society accepted a gift of four and a half acres from Bill and Betty Leech. The first buildings were moved to the site in 1970.
Although the displays in most of the buildings at Old Jefferson Town are similar to those seen in county historical museums throughout Kansas, there are a few standout attractions:
The 1875 Bowstring Bridge was manufactured by the King Bridge Manufactory in Cleveland, Ohio, and originally crossed Rock Creek north of Meriden. In the 1950s, the bridge was moved near Valley Falls, and in 1975 the bridge was finally moved to Old Jefferson Town in Oskaloosa.Unless the museum is hosting a special event, I think the typical visit to Old Jefferson Town will take less than one hour.
copyright 2006-2015 by Keith Stokes