For $2, today’s side deal gets you one admission to The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. Adult tickets are normally $4, kids’ tickets for ages 6–12 are $2, and children younger than 6 get in for free. Stock up on local lore at the museum, devoted to collecting and interpreting artifacts of Wichita and Sedgwick County’s heritage. This storied museum is housed in Wichita's first city hall, which narrowly avoided a fiery demise when ignited by a 1981 lightning strike. Get a glimpse into Wichita's early manufacturing industry and entrepreneurial spirit as you view one of the six remaining Jones Six automobiles from 1916, an attempt by Wichitian John Jones to rival Henry Ford's wares. Visit an authentically appointed 1890s Victorian middle-class cottage with a wooden icebox on the back porch and a hybrid gas-electric ceiling light fixture suspended in the parlor. Or view the hatchet of crusading temperance activist Carry Nation, which smashed windows, mirrors, and other vulnerable appointments in local bars and saloons before the enactment of prohibition.
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
In 1919, discouraged that artifacts of Wichita and Sedgwick County were disappearing, the Sedgwick County Pioneer Society began collecting and displaying historical items in the Sedgwick County Courthouse. Nearly a century later, what began as a modest collection of early memorabilia has expanded to nearly 70,000 Sedgwick County and Wichita-related artifacts, which together trace the history of the region from 1865 to the present. Now housed in Wichita’s original, renovated City Hall, the collection’s photographs, clothing, decorative arts, and household items enrich award-winning exhibits that tell tale of the area’s Buffalo-hunting days, Great Depression–era dust storms, and aircraft industry.
The museum is also home to three re-created environments from the region’s past. The garage re-creation holds a 1916 Jones Six automobile, the only such Wichita-built vehicle on public exhibit, and the drug store reproduces the feel of the popular early 20th-century neighborhood gathering place. Over in the Wichita Cottage, seven rooms of a Victorian-style 19th-century home house authentic period items such as a wooden icebox, a gas-and-electric ceiling light fixture, and the earliest electric guitars.