Southwest Kansans can step back in time and met Old West legend John Henry “Doc” Holliday at the Finney County Historical Society’s upcoming Evening in the Past, set for 6 p.m. May 25 on the patio at the Finney County Museum.
The program will feature a living history performance by Marc Ferguson, an award-winning re-enactor who lives in Montezuma and manages the Dalton Gang Hideout in Meade.
Ferguson’s portrayal of Holliday will be preceded by an old-fashioned fried chicken picnic dinner, served with side dishes, iced tea and ice cream.
Admission is $18 per person, with proceeds benefitting programs and exhibits at the museum. Seating is by reservation only and reservations are open until noon May 22 or when all 88 seats are sold, whichever comes first.
Reservations and payment may be made between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the FCHS offices, accessible through the north door of the museum at 403 S. Fourth in Garden City’s Finnup Park; or 1-5 p.m. daily at the museum’s front desk, accessible from the exhibit entrance near the Ben Grimsley arches at Lee Richardson Zoo.
Information is available at (620) 272-3664 and payment by cash or check to the Finney County Historical Society is acceptable. The program will move indoors at the museum in case of threatening weather.
The Evening in the Past program, taking place for the fifth consecutive year, is supported by the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau and sponsored by the Southern Council of the AT&T Pioneers, the Vernon and Wilma Solze family and Edward Jones Financial Advisor Lora Schneider. In past years the gathering has sold out in advance and reservations for the 2019 event are filling up quickly.
Ferguson is a veteran Old West reenactor and charter member of the Reenactment Guild of America, an organization dedicated to true and accurate historic portrayals of the 19th Century. He has also held memberships in the American Federation of Old West Re-enactors and the American Frontier Re-enactment Guild, as well as the Kansas Alliance of Professional Historical Performers.
While the re-enactor’s presentation in Garden City will focus on Holliday, one-time associate of famed 19th Century lawman Wyatt Earp, Ferguson also portrays buffalo hunter and Army scout Billy Dixon and U.S. Deputy Marshal Bill Tilghman. He has earned various regional and national awards for his interpretations of the three Old West figures, as well as directing and performing in a series of Dalton Days Wild West Fest melodramas, plus two plays as part of the Fort Larned Post Players.
Ferguson maintains a wardrobe of period-correct clothing for the late 19th Century, as well as reproduction firearms ranging from an 1874 Sharps rifle to a pair of 1873 Colt revolvers. He has managed the Dalton Gang site since 2005 and worked previously at Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum as head saloon keeper, historian, part-time curator and reenactment gunfighter.