Old Cowtown Museum Tour

Old Cowtown Museum Tour

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Old Cowtown Museum

Tour Information

Walk through the 45+ exhibits on 26 acres to immerse yourself in the world of a growing and prospering city in the midwest . . . that was soon to become the largest city in Kansas.


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What You'll See on the Tour

Welcome to the PAST! The upside down railway symbolizes the beginning of your adventure into Wichita's past.  Beyond this arch you will find recreations of history, exhibits filled with curious objects, and entertaining people and activiti... Read more
The Heller Cabin in the Wichita Beginnings section of Old Cowtown Museum represents a trading post that would have been used by Town Founders such as J.R. Mead or Dutch Bill Greiffenstein. Their activity represents the roots of  pre-railro... Read more
The Cowboy Camp in the Wichita Beginnings District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the on the trail home for the cowboys as they brought their most important commodity, cattle to Wichita.  At the end of the civil war, with beef stocks in ... Read more
Learn about the history of the buildings of Old Cowtown Museum. Watch a 8 minute video about the history of the area. Look at a 3d model of the museum. 
The Trappers Cabin in the Wichita's Beginnings District at Old Cowtown Museum represents a dimension of the hunting and trading economiy that was the foundation of early Wichita.  In addition to hunting fur bearing animals, others used ... Read more
The Munger House in the Wichita's Beginnings District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the intentional piviot point to move toward creating a city and moving away from an unicorporated group of dwellings.  Darius S. Munger of Topeka was... Read more
The Finlay Ross Furniture Store in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents a business dedicated to furnishing the Victorian home.  There is no one Victorian style of furnishings, rather a wide conglomeration of many styles.... Read more
The Harness and Saddle Shop in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the key business in the transportation system in the 1870s. The trade and craft of the saddle and harness business was crucial support for transportation ... Read more
The Baldwin Photographic Gallery in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the promotion of a social and cultural atmosphere in Wichita during the 1870s.  Nereus Baldwin was one of the first photographers to photograph Wich... Read more
The Dressmaking and Millinery, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the entrepreneurial role of women in early Wichita who provided necessary fashion needs for ladies.  The Dressmaking and Millinery were appro... Read more
The First Arkansas Valley Bank, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the financial institutions which serviced the expanding economy in Wichita during the 1870s. The evolution of the First Arkansas Valley Bank ... Read more
The Jail located in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the city's move to a more formal law enforcement system.  Wichita’s first city jail was constructed during the summer of 1871. The jail, or calaboose as it was c... Read more
The General Store in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the earliest mercantile and banking operations in the young city.  Before Wichita received rail road service in 1872, general stores were the primary outlet for a... Read more
The Thomas Shaw Music Store located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum represents an opportunity to fill a growing cultural need.   Music is essential for a community cultural life, public as well as private.  In the public,... Read more
The Zimmerly Hardware Store in the business districty at Old Cowtown Museum represents the rise of speciality shops that occured after the arrival of the railroad.  Hardware stores departed from the traditional  general store, which sold ... Read more
This building houses rotating temporary exhibits. 
The Blood House in the Agricultural District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the entrepreneurial spirit of the early farmers in Sedgwick County who relied on diversity of activities to thrive in the former Great American Desert. Gillman Bl... Read more
The DeVore Farm in the Agricultural District at Old Cowtown Museum represents an upper middle class progressive farmer who took advantage of science, inventions and economy to rise to that level. The average farm in 1875 was 160 acres, 35 ... Read more
This farm family would be of similar wealth to the Murdock family (House in Residential Area) but with neighbors far away, farm living was less formal than those in town.   Kitchen  - Guests enter from the porch.  Guests would enter the... Read more
The Blacksmith Shop located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum represents a general repair shop, with emphasis on agricultural equipment repair, in Wichita during the 1870s.  The blacksmith’s trade was an important business ... Read more
The Marshal’s Office located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum interprets the growing formal law enforcement in Wichita.  In 1870 Wichita was a 2nd class city with 2000 inhabitants The newly created  city council drafted o... Read more
The Meat Market located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum represents the diversification of local markets in Wichita, Kansas during the 1870s. Nineteenth century Americans consumed great amounts of meat.  Nearly every meal inc... Read more
The Grain Elevator and Scale House located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum represents the role of agriculture in Sedgwick County and agribusiness in Wichita.  As farming moved from subsistence to industrial production farmers ... Read more
The Grain Elevator and Scale House located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum represents the role of agriculture in Sedgwick County and agribusiness in Wichita.  As farming moved from subsistence to industrial production farmers ... Read more
The Santa Fe Depot located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the dynamic and transforming role the railroad had on Wichita is and Sedgwick County’s economic, transportation, and communication developments during t... Read more
The Eagle Cornice Works located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the industrial development in the growing town.  It was founded in 1883 by W. N. Caswell and F. Buckley.  The company specialized in the production ... Read more
The Herb Area in the Industrial District of Old Cowtown Museum represents the natural bounty on the prairie for healing and culinary uses.  Healing by herbs is a time-honored tradition.  This activity is the root of modern pharmacology. ... Read more
The Wolf House located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum, represents a dwelling on the outskirts of town and a type of home where a new immigrant would live as they began their lives on the frontier. Many immigrants found this ... Read more
The Livery Stable, located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum, represents transportation, communication and economic development in Wichita and Sedgwick County during the 1870s.  The Livery Stable was one of the businesses crucia... Read more
  Spannish animal brought to the contient by Columbus. Hardy Animal with colors and mixes are so various that no two appear exactly alike. Noted for their Long horns. Lean Meat. High fertility. Calving ease. Disease and parasite resistance... Read more
The Masonic Lodge Hall is located in the Industrial Area of Old Cowtown Museum.  It represents the Freemasons, a civic and social group consisting of men of all occupations from the surrounding area.   They came together to talk about l... Read more
The Turnverein Hall in the business district at Old Cowtown Museum represents the attempt of the expanding metropolitan community in early Wichita to organize social and cultural organizations.  The Germans were the largest ethnic group ... Read more
The Southern Hotel, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the importance that hotels had in the promotion and growth of Wichita during the 1870s.  The Southern Hotel, built on the first block of North Main Stre... Read more
The Fritz Snitzler Saloon, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents an important economic and social establishment of the cattle trade industry in the1870s Wichita. In 1872 Wichita had fourteen saloons. In this era... Read more
The J.P. Allen Drug Store, located in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the the formal health practice of the 1870s. There was a close relationship between the increasingly scientific medical and pharmaceutical practi... Read more
The Land Office, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the transfer and dispersal of land in early Wichita and Sedgwick County, Kansas.  There were two types of land in the Wichita area and two types of land o... Read more
The Law Office and Barber shop https://soundcloud.com/j-anthony-horsch/lawyer-narrative The Law Office located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents legal practices in Wichita and Sedgwick County, Kansas during the 187... Read more
The Fechheimer Clothing Store, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents the growth of mercantile business, change in technology, and Jewish immigration to Wichita during the 1870s.  Fechheimer’s clothing store r... Read more
The Wichita City Eagle in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum represents the office and printing business of Marshall M. Murdock, founder and editor of the Wichita City Eagle. The Eagle was one of the first newspapers published in W... Read more
The Gill Mortuary located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, is representative of a business which conveyed a cultural aspect of life and death in 1870s Wichita.  In the 1870s the practices around death were changing.  Until... Read more
The Carpenter Shop, located in the Business District of Old Cowtown Museum, represents a finish carpenter or cabinet maker shop in post‑railroad Wichita.   A finish carpenter required both skill and experience. Some of the work done in ... Read more
The One Room School, located in the Residential Area of Old Cowtown Museum represents the residential community’s educational institutions of Wichita during the 1870s.  While this one-room schoolhouse is not typical of Wichita schools a... Read more
The McKenzie House located in the Residential Area of Old Cowtown Museum is representative of a rental property within the city. The House interprets a rented house occupied by a single middle-class schoolteacher.  The woman possibly wa... Read more
The Story and A Half House located in the Residential Area of Old Cowtown Museum is representative of a typical lower to middle class home of the late 19th century. The Story-and-a-Half House is an exhibit represents family life in the 187... Read more
The Murdock House, located in the Residential Area of Old Cowtown Museum, represents a comfortable middle class Victorian household in 1870s Wichita.   It was the home of Marshall M. Murdock, his wife Victoria, and their three children. T... Read more
The Hodge House in the residential district of Old Cowtown Museum represents life of the an African-American family in early Wichita. The Hodge House was built by Wesley Hodge, an African-American blacksmith from 1878-1885. In 1880, Wesley... Read more
The First Presbyterian Church in the residential district at Old Cowtown Museum represents one of the social and religious organizations of the permanent residential community in Wichita during the 1870s. Churches played an important role i... Read more

 

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