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Fort Wallace Museum, Wallace

4.6
#73 of 153 in Museums in Kansas
Must see · History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Fort Wallace Museum connects the past of Wallace County (including Wallace, Sharon Springs, and Weskan) to the present and the future. By observing and studying the county's rich history, we can surely better understand the lives of the people who lived here before we did and the changes that have taken place in the county. Located near the famous Fort Wallace, the very first Harvey House, and the site of the widely recognized German Family Massacre, The Fort Wallace Museum is surrounded by many important events of our past.

The Fort Wallace Memorial Association currently owns four separate buildings. The main museum is housed in a recently renovated limestone building with large glass windows in the front. To the west of the Main Museum is the Pond Creek Stage Station, which was originally located just one mile southwest of where it currently sits, where it was once a "home" or eating station for the Butterfield Overland Despatch (BOD). The famous Fort Wallace had its first beginnings as Camp Pond Creek, and was created for the purpose of guarding and protecting the people and packages that traveled the BOD.



Nearby is the Sunderland-Poe building, a red metal outbuilding houses the largest of the museum exhibits, including two restored Conestoga Wagons, several sleighs and buggies, and countless farm implements and machinery. This building also houses our most interesting exhibits--entire animals and scenes made entirely out of barbwire. In the middle of Wallace is a limestone house, which was once the most important building in the county, but is now only used for storage. This limestone house was once the Section House for this part of the Railroad. However, when the division point and roundhouse were moved to Sharon Springs, the Section House fell into disuse. In the Summer of 2002 when the main museum building was undergoing renovation, all artifacts were relocated to the Section House which was then used as a temporary museum.

Wallace got its first start as a town largely due to the railroad. Although the depot original to Wallace burned down years ago, the Fort Wallace Museum has been lucky enough to acquire the Weskan Depot. Sitting on the museum grounds, this building holds the majority of our exhibits concerning the railroad.

In 2007, another addition to the museum complex was completed: The Floris and Viola Weiser collection. Located in a beautiful new gallery, Mr. Weiser's collection of Native American and military artifacts are on display, surrounded by the vivid paintings of Jerry Thomas.
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Fort Wallace Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
27 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Nice little stop on Hwy 40. Has a nice indoor museum and some outbuildings to go through. It is as nice as some bigger museums. Well worth a stop.  more »
  • This is a great museum, especially if you enjoy working with tools and such. Everything is free and the docents are very friendly. They kindly offer drinks, and help anyone who needs to ask...  more »
Google
  • My two children and I loved this place. In the middle of nowhere, it's quite a treasure!! Also we got to meet the president of this place and she was very welcoming and before we knew it she was playing on an old organ and singing with her beautiful voice. Very glad we stopped.
  • A Gem of a "You can touch it" Museum My son and I were looking for a picnic table to eat our breakfast and saw the sign for this museum. We proceeded to eat under a covered picnic table and as an afterthought decided to visit the museum. Having come from Mesa Verde National Park, it was a cultural shock to be told that we could touch, sit, and even climb aboard the replica Stagecoach. A lot of thought went into this museum to make it appear as if it was an old-time street, with storefront facades displaying antiques. There was even a fossil replica of some sea creature hanging from the rafters! The docent was wonderful as she told us snippets of history (oh! The story of the German family massacre was riveting!) And she even cranked up the player piano for us. If you are within 100 miles -- no, 200 miles from this museum you owe it to yourself to go. Don't forget to check out all of their pipe organs, a recent acquisition.

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Side trips from Wallace

©
Landmark
Mount Sunflower Weskan
4.0
Duration: 2 hours