Museums are an inspiring, educational way to learn about a place. That’s likely why there are no fewer than 55,000 museums across 202 countries!
If you’re visiting a new place, local museums offer a taste of that area’s culture and history. Even if you’re a resident somewhere, a trip to the museum may teach you several things you never knew about the place you call home.
Museums can be quirky, fun, or more serious. They can be large or small, have constant or ever-changing exhibits, and focus on specific topics, regions, or people. Here, we discuss a local favorite—The Finney County Historical Museum—that spotlights Finney county’s rich cultural history.
If you’re planning a trip to Garden City, Kansas, this museum is a must-visit. Here’s why.
A Brief Look at Finney County Historical Museum
According to the museum, FCHM’s mission is to:
- provide a look into the spirit of Southwest Kansas, both past and present, by featuring long-term revolving exhibits displayed in the museum year-round. A visit to the museum is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all ages.
That makes the trip ideal for anyone you’re visiting with, from your kids to their grandparents.
Finney County’s Historial Museum opened with the intention any museum has—to preserve the past to enlighten the future. It illuminates the town’s local history and even offers other perks, such as a gorgeous, lush garden. To really feel the history in a tangible way, be sure to check out the one-room schoolhouse that’s been there since 1890!
Finney County Historical Museum is a small, rusty-orange, brick building with three noticeable flagpoles out front. You’ll also notice a large sign out front advertising the nearby zoo!
What Exhibits Does The FCHM Host Year-Round?
The Finney County Historical Museum has six exhibits they display all year. Those include:
- “Take Stock in Finney County,” an exhibit that outlines the development of the region’s cattle industry and observes irrigation properties and the beef packing operation
- “19th-Century Kitchen,” which is a recreation of a functioning kitchen from the late 1800s and includes trinkets like utensils and appliances like a stove
- “C.J. “Buffalo” Jones: Last of the Plainsmen,” a chronicle of Garden City’s “most flamboyant founding father”
- Various small photo exhibits that mostly illuminate past weather events, such as a 1965 flood and a tornado in 1967
- “Santa Fe Trail,” an exhibit that includes photos, maps, and artifacts that cover the long and interesting story of the Santa Fe Trail’s origins and its various connections to SW Kansas
Make sure you also check out the other long-term offerings, such as the Spirit of the Plains Gallery, a dress-up room that allows kids to play in a replica guest room of the Windsor Hotel, or check out the interactive Lego toys that encourage children to make their own Kansas icon.
Finally, be sure to walk by the William D. and Luticia Fulton House (open 2 PM to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays in June, July, and August) and the flower and herb garden. The garden features replica plantings from the late 1800s—the century that is often represented in this local museum.
There’s no better way to learn all these things in one day! Pay the museum a visit to learn even more about our quaint town.
Don’t Miss a Chance to Check Out Rotating Exhibits
The FCHM may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in exhibits.
In addition to the year-long exhibits we mentioned above, the museum also has rotating exhibits that touch on various subjects. Every two to four years, the museum features something new.
The current temporary exhibit began in 2018 and is titled: “True Crime: Solving Notorious Cases from Finney County’s History.” If you have any true crime addicts in your travel group, they’re sure to love this option!
Hours of Operation, Location, and More
Are you ready to visit one of Garden City’s prime destinations?
If so, take note of FCHM’s summer, winter, and weekend hours, which are as follows:
- Summer hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily
- Winter hours: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM daily
- Weekend hours: 1:00 to 5:00 PM
It’s also worth considering dates, as Finney County’s Historical Museum operates on a specific schedule.
During the summer, the local museum is open starting the Tuesday after Memorial Day and lasts until the USD 457 schools begin in August. The spring, winter, and fall hours start in August (when USD 457 school starts) and last until the Tuesday after Memorial Day.
The office hours are open year-round, and you can contact the office at (620) 272-3664.
The Finney County Historical Museum is located at 403 S 4th Street, Garden City, KS, 67846, and admission is always free! If you wish, you can always donate, which directly maintains the museum and its exhibits.
Let Local Museums Be Your Muse!
After all, where else can you learn about a town’s long, rich cultural history and witness the largest hairball ever to exist?
No, we’re not talking about Ripley’s Believe It or Not. We’re talking about the quaint, interesting, and humble Finney County Historical Museum located in Garden City, Kansas.
We’ve got more than local museums—we’ve got fairs, driving tours, golf courses, community theatres, and so much more. Consider us your go-to resource for information when visiting our beautiful town!
Click here for an extensive list of our other offerings and activities, and let us know if you have any questions about navigating the city or planning a trip.