The Finney County Historical Society is resuming its free evening and noon-hour history programs for the public, beginning Sept. 9.
The fall sessions will take place with socially-distanced seating and additional COVID-19 precautions. Each is scheduled in the Mary Regan Conference Room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth Street in Garden City’s Finnup Park, with access via the north entrance.
Programs are sponsored by the Southern Council of the AT&T Pioneers, and include the Mitchal Runnels Story at noon Sept. 9 and 7 p.m. Sept. 15; the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, noon Oct. 14 and 7 p.m. Oct. 20; and Painters of Modern Life at noon Nov. 11 and 7 p.m. Nov. 17.
Mitchal Runnels is the young man whose Valley View Cemetery grave has been marked the past 93 years by the engine of his beloved 1924 Chevrolet. The September programs will be presented by Museum Education Coordinator Johnetta Hebrlee and Finney County Historical Society Executive Director Steve Quakenbush. In addition to the teenager’s story, the session will touch on efforts to preserve his now-crumbling memorial.
Christi Graber, founder of the Southwest Kansas chapter of the League of Women Voters, is offering the October presentations, which focus on the centennial of American women winning the right to vote. That occurred in August of 1919, when Tennessee became the last of the necessary 36 states to ratify the amendment that guaranteed Americans the right to vote regardless of gender.
Painters of Modern Life, set for noon Nov. 11 and 7 p.m. Nov. 17, will be given by Dr. Conny Bogaard, executive director of the Western Kansas Community Foundation. The presenter, who holds two degrees in art history, theory and aesthetics, will share pictures and information about Impressionist painting in the 1800s and early 1900s. Her program will incorporate ties to Finney County, Garden City and Southwest Kansas history.
In addition to spacing out audience seating for social distancing, the programs will break with museum tradition by offering beverages but no food. No tables for dining will be available and attendees are asked to refrain from bringing lunch or dinner. Attendance will be limited to 40 listeners per session, hand sanitizer will be accessible and masks will be encouraged, though not required, with free masks available.
Information is available by contacting the museum at 620-272-3664.