We first visited the Dutch Mill, a wicked-old (100 years!) windmill that was made by Amish settlers to grind wheat into flour. My favorite fun fact about the mill is that it was originally located 12 miles outside of Wamego, but when they moved it into town, they wrote numbers on all of the stones so they could put it back in the exact order in which it was built! GENIUS! They don't use it anymore, obviously, mainly because they have those Christmas lights on it, and getting the lights tangled is bad news bears. You can go inside the mill, and we talked with a really nice guy who told us the history and answered our (many) questions.
Inside the main museum building, there were really awesome, well-constructed displays of just about everything related to every day life in Wamego from settler days to recent times. The biggest display immediately in the front was all about a former resident named Sergeant Harold Edwin Fetcher. He was in World War II in Italy and was killed in action in October 1944. They couldn't find his remains until October 2006. Can you even imagine what that must have been like for his family?! Crazy.
Kind of funny and sarcastic
WHOA! Check out the shrapnel marks in this helmet!
Artifacts (is that the right word for something that's not SUPER old?) that they found with Sgt. Fetcher's body
Nikki's favorite exhibit in the museum was a nice tribute to Hod Dendurent, a major figure in Wamego who played a clown every year in the parade. He was a beloved figure for generations, and it was really nice to see him honored like this. Nikki may or may not have teared up. (She's really emotional like that.)
MY favorite part of the museum was this stuffed bison they had just hanging out! She's got a name and everything. (There's a little more about her in the museum's main webpage that I linked at the top of the blog.
Look at that name!!!!!
I think I need to make a tag for the blog for bison. Pretty sure this is the second one I've hung out with.
Some info about bison (note: NOT the same as buffalo!)
One of the creepier exhibits at the Wamego Historical Society & Museum was about and old-school dentist.
It showed off all of his tools including dentures and other fake teeth. Since I don't have teeth, and since Nikki's got GREAT teeth (according to her dentist), neither of us were freaked out about the exhibit just because it was of a dentist. There's just something creepy about old dentures, knowing that these were in the mouths of people who are now DEAD. (ew ew ew ew ew!)
Like, who looks at their grandparents' dentures when they're cleaning out their houses after the funeral and thinks, "This would be AWESOME for the historical museum to have on display!"?!
Pick your fake teeth color, like picking nail polish for a manicure!
In keeping with my tradition of posing with statues, we took a picture of me next to this GIANT tree carving.
Info about the statue
Portrait of the artist and his creation
Nikki got to nerd out in one exhibit that featured a real weird but effective solution to a very serious public health problem: tuberculosis. A doctor saw that people who were just walking around the streets were hocking loogies on the sidewalk, and that was transmitting TB into the air where other people could catch it. So he employed TB patients to make bricks with a reminder on them that spitting wasn't cool.
Again, sorry that it's hard to read.
The genius doctor (WICKED nice 'stache!)
His beliefs about health, from a newspaper article about his initiative
NERDY PHOTO BREAK TIME!!
The rest of these photos are of random, funny stuff scattered around the museum. Pretty sure the giant shoe is my favorite.
Really intricate doll house
"Paul Bunyan's Other Shoe"
The inside of Paul's shoe. What a weird marketing stunt!
Nikki's favorite: GIANT BALL OF STRING that some random lady decided to make and the museum decided to keep.