In 1910, Engine House No. 6 boasted space to accommodate four firefighters, two horses, and a carriage, which was the best way to reach the scene of a fire quickly. By 1918, though, the horses had retired, giving up their stall space and beloved supply of carrots to a brand-new fire truck. The move was part of Wichita's initiative to become the first all-mechanized fire department in the nation.
The neighborhood station served until 1953, when its half-a-century-old amenities proved too obsolete to serve the needs of modern firefighters. Still, the building represented an interesting slice of history, so in 1993, a group of local citizens and firefighters teamed up to restore the place and transform it into the Kansas Firefighters Museum.
Today, the museum recounts the above story and tells other local firefighting tales through various exhibits. They also offer fire camps, which are designed to give youth a hands-on look into the daily life of a firefighter, with participation and activity discussions geared to help attendees determine if firefighting may be their profession of choice. The museum's staff of volunteers also pride themselves on creating a great firefighter calendar full of hunky men and women wearing hard hats or wielding hoses. Proceeds go to the Coats for Kids program, which provides coats for hundreds of children in Kansas each year.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Where else in Wichita can you experience a trip through time and discover an incredible collection of fossils, dinosaurs, mummies and more?
At the Museum of World Treasures, our mission is to provide a gateway to the past which educates, entertains, and inspires lifelong learning.
What is the experience customers can expect?
Customers rave about the Museum's diverse collection, customer service, and affordable admission. Summer Adventure Camps offer youth the opportunity to explore history in a hands-on learning experience. Camps are led by qualified instructors and conclude with a private "Exhibit Opening" party.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
The Museum of World Treasures was founded in 2001 by two passionate collectors, Dr. Jon and Lorna Kardatzke from Wichita, KS. They started the nonprofit Museum with their own collection. Since then, the Museum has grown to represent over 200 different collectors and thousands of historic artifacts.
What do you love most about your job?
The Museum of World Treasures has a fun, happy, energetic & dedicated team working to deliver the best Museum experience possible to visitors from all over the world! Our favorite coworkers include Ivan the T.rex, two real Egyptian mummies, and a medieval knight.
Since 1920—when it was originally founded as the Wichita Art Association—The Wichita Center for the Arts has made art engaging and accessible to Wichita and the surrounding communities. These days, the 45,000-square-foot facility is a veritable breeding ground for all things creative, from improv to wheel-thrown pottery. Those who prefer to sip and learn can enroll in the center's informative wine classes, which illuminate regions, styles, and proper lingo for admitting you drank the entire bottle. Studio art classes range in concentration from oil painting to jewelry making, and are held throughout the year.
One of the most important aspects of fulfilling your civic duty is to learn the fascinating, and sometimes devastating, history of your country and its diverse people. The Mid-America All-Indian Center is the perfect place to learn about the history and heritage of the many different Native American Tribes of North America. MAAIC contains a museum, a large gathering space called the Gallery of Nations, and a gift shop; it also hosts weekly arts and crafts classes for children and adults, as well as regular community nights. The Gallery of Nations can also be rented for weddings and other events. There is something for people of all ages at the MAAIC--this is truly an important museum that no one in Wichita should miss.
Experience the rugged 1870s firsthand at the Old Cowtown Museum! Unlike other museums, guests at Cowtown learn by doing--you and the kids get to participate directly, so no one will be complaining of boredom! This lively cattle town features busy business and homes full of characters. You can pay a visit to the home of town's founder, Darius Munger, or take part in many other historical activities. There are also rotating special exhibits during the year at Cowtown, so you can always see something new. During your visit at Cowtown don’t miss your chance to ride in a horse-drawn stagecoach or wagon. Before you leave, drop into the Snitzler’s Saloon for a splendid sarsaparilla.
Housed in the one-time Calvary Baptist Church built in 1917 by members of the city's thriving black community, The Kansas African American Museum is a history and cultural center that tells the story of the African-American experience in Kansas. With historical photographs, authentic African artifacts, constantly changing exhibits, and artwork from past and current artists, the museum helps visitors get a glimpse of life from the 1800s to the present.