PITTSBURG — Crawford County Historical Museum started out on Madison street 50 years ago.

In 1978 was moved to its current location for the many treasures found from Crawford County, at 651 S. Highway 69.

On Sunday, the museum celebrated its many accomplishments from half a century.

“Today we just want to celebrate 50 years of the museum being open,” CCHM Director Amanda Minton said. “We’re excited to open the doors to the community and have the community be part of the museum.

“It’s the community that makes the museum become alive.”

The latest achievement is the addition of the Education Pavillion behind the museum.

“This is thanks to a grant written by the Sunflower Kiwanis and built by PSU,” Minton said.

At the pavillion, people can sit in the shade and learn history, or like on Sunday, people can listen to musicians such as the Pittsburg Old Time Fiddlers and Pickers who also utilize the museum as a practice location.  

Accomplishments of the past include acquiring the authentic one room school house and shop.

To share part of southeast Kansas history the CCHM brought in National Archives — Kansas City Archivist and Author Adrian Zink. He shared about local mining history and the military road which ran through the area from his book Hidden History of Kansas. People can find his book on Amazon.

Also there to share bits and pieces of local history were Turkey Creek Fusiliers and the WWII HRS 250 Ski Company Division Azul. The groups served as a living museum and dressed in their respective uniforms representing each era.

For example, Turkey Creek Fusiliers member Bennie Hamilton was dressed as a Civil War Captain and one of his group members was dressed as a cavalryman. Both shared with guests about what the items they were wearing or carrying around were used for and other snippets of information.

Believe it or not, Hamilton said, there are shops which make various-era clothing and items which reenactors — or history buffs — can wear and collect.

Division Azul member Dustin Strong said they came out to share the facts about war which people may not get from Hollywood films.

For example, he said, Europeans fought on many sides of WWII.

During the celebration a few car enthusiast brought their “old time” cars for people to view.

The celebration also brought another guest, KTWU Assistant Production Manager Jim Kelly came to record the museum as part of the Sunflower Journeys production of Kansas museums. The completion of the film will be announced at a later date.

Minton said he is documenting why CCHM is important to Kansas and to this location.

Minton said the event was a success, however, she said any time people visit is always a day to celebrate.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 651 S. Highway 69.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.