TCHS Events


TCHS presents programs on the Fourth Tuesday of every month (except June, July, November and December).

These program meetings are normally held in the Reno Methodist Church on the museum site at 201 W. Washington Street in Tonganoxie. The meetings begin at 7:00 pm and include a brief business meeting and an historical program.

All members of the community are welcome. There are refreshments after the program and there is never a charge.


Fourth Tuesday Program
August 23, 2022 - 7:00PM to 8:30PM
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

“The Harvey Girls”
Presented by Dr. Michaeline Chance-Reay, Humanities Kansas Speaker’s Bureau

The Harvey House chain of restaurants got its start in Topeka when Fred Harvey opened a café for people traveling the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. Preferring the term “Harvey Girl” to waitress, he recruited single women to work at his restaurants that gradually sprang up all the way to California and Texas. This presentation explores the job duties and working conditions of Harvey Girls from 1876 to the early 1950s.

Dr. Michaeline Chance-Reay teaches women’s studies and education at Kansas State University. Her current research focuses on the Harvey Girls and historic sites on the K-State campus, especially those related to women. “Women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who wanted jobs or careers outside of the home had few choices,” said Chance-Reay. “But the Harvey Company offered unique opportunities. It was demanding work but it provided a decent salary in a protected environment, in addition to travel and adventure.”

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The Harvey Girls flyer

Fourth Tuesday Program
September 27,, 2022 - 7:00PM to 8:30PM
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

“What’s in a Kansas County Name?”
For whom or for what were Kansas counties named?

Presented by Jim Hanni

“What's In a Kansas County name?” is the story of the evolution of Kansas county naming and creation. We will meet the people for whom Kansas counties were named, with a power point presentation of the first-ever photo album Jim put together of pictures of all these folks. He will also share the names of counties that were named, then replaced by other names, as Kansas moved from territorial pro-slavery to statehood, free-state legislatures.

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The Harvey Girls flyer


October 25, 2022 - Beverley Olson Buller, “William Allen White and the KKK in Kansas” a Humanities Kansas presentation

The Museum is is now open to visitors on

Tuesdays from 9 am to 4 pm, Wednesdays from 9 am to noon, and Saturdays – 10 am to 2 pm!!!

Other times can be arranged by appointment.

We welcome all new-comers and visitors!

Current Events


A New Traveling Exhibit

July 13, 2022 - November 15, 2022
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

Kansas Riverkings
Great Adventurers who risked their lives on the Kaw River from 1870 - 1970.

From July 13 to November 15, the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society & Museum will host a special traveling exhibit about the Kansas Riverkings. The exhibit showcases artifacts and the adventurers who used them and sometimes risked their lives on the Kansas River at Lawrence.

This exhibit is on loan from the Riverkings Museum and Barbara Higgins-Dover. Some of you may remember a program in 2019, when Barbara Higgins-Dover presented a program on the Riverkings, which included a screening of her documentary, “When Kings Reigned.”

Recent Events


Food Drive

The Good Shepherd Thrift Shop & Food Bank
423 E. 4th Street, Tonganoxie, KS

Since we are not having our monthly fourth Tuesday program in June, the Board decided to sponsor a Food Drive for our community partner, The Good Shepherd Thrift Shop and Food Bank.

The pictured chalk board lists their most critical needs now. Other non-perishable food items are welcome as are cash donations. This organization of all volunteers plays a critical support role for many in our area.

Good Shepherd is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am to 2 pm for your food drop offs. And while you are there take a few minutes to shop and see all the goodies on sale.

Good Shepherd Food Bank

TCHS History Camp

June 6-10, 2022 - 9AM to noon
Fairchild/Knox Hay Barn
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

“Searching for Freedom during Bleeding Kansas”

One week focus on local history, edible history, wearable history, dramatic history, and playful history.

Ages: Children entering grades 4-6 in the fall
Fee: $50
Deadline: Registration Opens on May 19, 2022.
Space is limited to 12 youth.

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History Camp flyer

Memorial Day Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast

May 30, 2022 - 7:30AM to 10:00AM
Fairchild/Knox Hay Barn
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

JOIN US for our Fourth Annual Memorial Day Breakfast.

Flag ceremony by VFW Post #9271 and American Legion Post #41.

Reveille by Boy Scout Troop #357.

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2022 Memorial Day Breakfast flyer

Fourth Tuesday Program

May 24, 2022 - 7:00PM to 8:30PM
Fairchild/Knox Hay Barn
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

“Creighton Siegert” presented by Jon Nelson

Creighton Siegert, a Tonganoxie HS grad of 1942, was killed on his first bombing mission over Germany in April of 1944. Jon Nelson, a 1970 Tonganoxie High School graduate and a 1974 graduate of Kansas State University in civil engineering. He and his wife Glenda, also a 1970 THS grad, have lived in Oklahoma for nearly 48 years. Jon is soon to be fully retired from Tetra Tech, Inc., where he was a Senior Vice President. Jon has fond memories of going to the West End Lunch as a child with his dad Gene. During one visit, the owners, Paul and Frances (Frank) Siegert, talked about losing their only child Creighton in World War II. Jon thought that someday he would like to know more about Paul and Frank’s son, and this led to extensive research into Creighton’s life and his experience during the war. Jon is nearly finished writing a book about Creighton, his B-24 bomber crewmates and their one bombing mission over Germany in April of 1944.

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Creighton Siegert flyer

Timeline Radio

May 16, 2022 - 6:00PM
on the stations of Kansas Public Radio

On May 16, Joy Lominska and Kris Roberts returned to Timeline Radio for another chat with Clenece Hills. We talked about plans for history camp, the stories of the mural in the high school media center, new museum displays, and upcoming programs.

Timeline 5-16-22 w/ Clenece Hills, Kris Roberts, Joy Lominska by KLWN (

Kaye McIntyre, Kris Roberts, Joy Lominska

Fourth Tuesday Program

April 26, 2022 - 7:00PM to 8:30PM
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

“Madame Mayor: The First Women Mayors in Kansas” Presentation by: Sarah Bell

Did you know that for a brief time in Kansas, women leaders dominated local elections? The passage of the 1887 municipal suffrage bill allowed women to vote and stand for local elections. Women mayors were elected in several cities, and in Argonia, Mayor Susanna Salter became the first elected woman mayor in Kansas and the country. Other cities followed. This progress did not include women of color, who, despite being involved in civil and social affairs, did not have entry into elected roles. Yet, by the end of the 19th century, men again dominated the political landscape. Although short-lived, the influence of these early women civic leaders laid important groundwork. This talk weaves the chronology of women’s suffrage in the state with the stories of women elected leaders.

Sarah Bell

KPR Presents

April 17, 2022 - 6:00PM
on the stations of Kansas Public Radio

On April 11, Kaye McIntyre, interviewed Joy Lominska and Kris Roberts for her program, KPR Presents.

The interview aired on April 17 and focused on the Living Sovereignty exhibit that premiered at the Tonganoxie Museum in March & April of 2022.

KPR Presents: Joy Harjo, Tonganoxie Exhibit | Kansas Public Radio

Kaye McIntyre, Kris Roberts, Joy Lominska

A New Traveling Exhibit

March 23, 2022 - April 30, 2022
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

Living Sovereignty: Sustaining Indigenous Autonomy in “Indian Territory” Kansas

From March 23 to April 30, the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society & Museum will host a new traveling exhibit, entitled "Living Sovereignty: Sustaining Indigenous Autonomy in 'Indian Territory' Kansas."

Living Sovereignty explores the histories of the tribal peoples that populated Kansas and the ways they found to express their sovereignty and maintain cultural identity. The traveling exhibit is the result of a collaboration between Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, the Watkins Museum of History, and the Museum Studies Program at the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.


Fourth Tuesday Program

March 22, 2022 - 7:00PM to 8:30PM
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

Dawn Buehler, the Kansas Riverkeeper and Executive Director with Friends of the Kaw.

The Tonganoxie Community Historical Society will host its Fourth Tuesday Program on March 22nd beginning at 7pm.

This program meeting will be held in the Fairchild/Knox Hay Barn on the museum site.

Coincidentally, March 22nd is also World Water Day.

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Kansas Riverkeeper flyer

Barn Quilt Workshop

March 19, 2022 from 9am – 2pm
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

The next Barn Block Workshop will be held on Saturday March 19th from 9am to 2pm.

The class fees include materials and instructions to create your own Barn Quilt Block. Patterns are available at the class or you can bring your own. The 2' x 2' and 4' x 4' blocks are MDO (medium density overlay) signboard, primed with an exterior paint. Exterior paints in many colors are available at the class. Costs for the Barn Block Workshops are $60 for a 2' x 2' block and $140 for a 4' x 4' block. The class fees include materials and instructions to create your own Barn Quilt Block. Patterns are available at the class or you can bring your own. Arrive at 9:00am and walk out at 2:00pm with your own Barn Quilt Block.

Send an email to if you are interested in signing up for this fun day in the barn at the historical society.

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Barn Block Workshop flyer

Chili Supper  - CANCELLED

February 17, 2022 from 11am – 6:30pm
201 W. Washington, Tonganoxie, KS

Considering the current COVID situation, the TCHS Board has decided not to have the traditional Chili Supper this year.

Instead, we are planning a summer food drive to benefit the Good Shepherd Thrift Shop. Watch for more details!



There are annual events to watch for, all of which are open to the public. These include the Picnic in June and the Holiday Party in December.

Our 1936 Fire Pumper Truck is a regular in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in March and the Fair Parade in July.

We also have several annual fundraisers:

  • Come join us for our Annual Chili Supper in February. Warm up with Beef Vegetable Soup or Chili.  Add a baked potato.
  • We honor tradition with a Memorial Day Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast, with Flag Ceremony and Taps on Memorial Day in May.


See what's been happening at the Historical Society!

Ghost Town Bus Tour

How Many Towns Can You Name that were vibrant communities in the late 1800's and early 1900's? Find out where they were, what made them successful, and what happened to them.  Our first Ghost Town Bus Tour in May of 2018 focused on towns north and east of Tonganoxie.

TCHS is planning a second Ghost Town Bus Tour.
Watch for the date of the second TCHS Ghost Town Bus Tour. This tour will focus on the southern part of the county.