Tornado destroyed our community; new mining museum opened 2012. Plan to re-create the early mining town with murals on outdoor bldgs.
As we prepare to host a Smithsonian exhibit in 2013 we look back on our successes of rebuilding after the tornado. The community of Franklin was destroyed by a tornado in 2003. Community volunteers joined together to form a non-profit to rebuild the community. Their successes are shown by the new Community Center, Community Park and Welcome Area. Many historic markers have been built preserving artifacts from the community, honoring our state and national historic site and the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to rebuild the community of approximately 200 residents.
FCCI has now partnered with a group to showcase the new Miners Hall Museum and to preserve the history of the impact of coal mining on southeast Kansas. The museum was selected as one of six sites in Kansas to host the 2013 Smithsonian Exhibit "The Way We Worked".
Immigrants flocked to southeast Kansas in hopes of finding a better life for their families by working the coal fields. We want to tell the story of these hard working immigrants, their challenges, the working conditions, how they lived and much more.
Miners Hall Museum is beginning its outdoor design and exhibits. There are several storage type buildings on the grounds which are not pleasing to the eye. Gary Lofts, area artist and Northeast High School Art Instructor, has agreed to paint the buildings to re-create a mining community. In addition to the post office shown we will have a Mine Recovery Station where injured miners were taken for medical attention and a mine entrance which will show miners headed down into the deep dark mines to begin their long day of work. An actual mining hoist (dated 1875) is located at the site and will be integrated into the design.
This will create a visual outdoor art space for area families and visitors to the community. The first 3 months of the museums existence drew almost 2,000 visitors to the site.
After this project is complete we plan to create another mural on the side of the entire museum building.
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