"Little Balkans Coal Camp: Weir," the third quarterly exhibit of 2020 at Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, opened July 1 and will continue through Sept. 26.
This exhibit and programs include a wide-ranging display and presentations on the "boom town" era of Weir City, Kansas from 1866 to 1950. The display includes storyboards, a colorful timeline, and pictures of Weir City and the surrounding area.
The exhibit is hosted by David Wallace. David was born in San Diego, California to a scholarly pin-striper from Oswego and a coal miner’s son from Weir, according to a Miners Hall press release. It took him 38 years to outgrow the confines of city life and move back to make a home within a mile from where his dad was born at Daisy Hill, north of Weir. After driving trucks nationwide for 25 years he has returned to discover the story of his family who put down roots in the coal camp of Weir City.
Miners Hall is thankful to Wallace as well as to the other presenters for the exhibit: Lois Carlson, Jerry Lomshek, and Larry Spahn.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miners Hall will be unable to host Sunday afternoon special events for its quarterly programs as it has in the past. These programs have been very popular with members and patrons, so the museum is looking for ways to present programs in an alternate setting, and has discussed hosting programs via Zoom meetings or recording programs and posting them on YouTube.
Programs scheduled for this exhibit include:
July, TBD: "Weir Mining History" presented by David Wallace
This program will cover the growth of coal mining and of Weir City from the opening of the Neutral Lands in 1860 to the end of mining in the area in the 1950’s.
August, TBD: "Controversy in The Coal Fields" presented by Lois Carlson and David Wallace
Lois Carlson will present on the UMWA strike of 1919 as well as the School of Mines controversy. David Wallace will present on Black miners in Weir, Kansas.
September, TBD: "Nuts and Bolts of Coal Mining" presented by Jerry Lomshek and Larry Spahn
This program will give a description and explanation of the equipment and procedures of mining as it was practiced in the Weir area.
For further information on our programs, you can follow "Miners Hall Museum" on Facebook or Twitter or become a member of the museum.
If you have artifacts, photos, or stories relating to this exhibit and would like to donate or loan them for this exhibit or future display at the museum, please contact the museum to share this wonderful history.
The museum is open for viewing Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the museum and the programs is free. Donations are accepted and appreciated. The museum and facilities will adhere to the current coronavirus restrictions and pandemic guidelines for Crawford County and the State of Kansas.