Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center The OP Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Overland Park, Kansas. Our locations are available for education and research.
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The Overland Park Historical Society was organized on September 30, 1994 for the purpose of identifying and preserving the history of Overland Park and the surrounding area. In September of 1998, the Society moved into its current headquarters - the Strang Carriage House. The City of Overland Park renovated the building, and the members of the O.P.H.S. raised money and donated many hours of labor to finish and furnish the interior. The limestone structure, built ca. 1910, originally housed the personal vehicles of William Strang, the founder of Overland Park,and the family of his chauffeur lived upstairs. It is staffed by volunteers at scheduled hours.

Mission: The mission of the Overland Park Historical Society is to collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and educate the public about the history of the region of Overland Park, Kansas and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the present.

Operating as usual

We thought it would be fun to explore the history and origins of Halloween.The Origin of HalloweenAncient Celts celebrat...
10/27/2020

We thought it would be fun to explore the history and origins of Halloween.
The Origin of Halloween

Ancient Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sah-wen) some 2000 years ago. This was the equivalent of our New Years day as the harvest season ended and the dark days of winter began. Interestingly, the Celtic day began at sundown; the concept of the new year beginning as nights increased in length makes sense in this context.

The festival continued over 3 days with many of the traditions and ideas we have come to loosely associate with Halloween. The Celts believed that during the period between the ending of one year and beginning of the next the boundary between the living and dead blurred and the veil was lifted, allowing spirits to freely wander the earth. In particular, those that had died during the year were now able to enter the land of the dead where they belonged. Bonfires were lit outside to ward off the spirits and blazed till dawn when they were extinguished and hearths lit inside for the winter's warmth.

Tomorrow we'll look at Costumes

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo
10/27/2020

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo

It was on this date - 10/22/96 that the October Surprise snowstorm hit Overland Park and the KC Metro. It wasn't predict...
10/22/2020

It was on this date - 10/22/96 that the October Surprise snowstorm hit Overland Park and the KC Metro. It wasn't predicted but after all was said and done up 6 inches of snow fell. Th pumpkins love it!

FYI - The JOCO Arts & Heritage Center is an early voting site. Here are the hours!
10/20/2020

FYI - The JOCO Arts & Heritage Center is an early voting site. Here are the hours!

It is historic - Monday afternoon NFL Football. It will be pretty quiet around town this afternoon! Go Chiefs!
10/19/2020

It is historic - Monday afternoon NFL Football. It will be pretty quiet around town this afternoon! Go Chiefs!

We have some very talented and dedicated writers in our group, and today we would like to share Mike Chafin's article on...
10/14/2020
OP STATE BANK History

We have some very talented and dedicated writers in our group, and today we would like to share Mike Chafin's article on the Overland Park State Bank. Enjoy!
https://www.ophistorical.org/op-state-bank-history.html

The Overland Park Bank Building, located at 7341 W.80 th St.(just east of our Strang Depot building), was built in 1910. That's 110 years ago! It is a rich part of Overland Park’s history, and...

As today marks John Lennon's 80th birthday, there is a bit of history to the Beatles, as they played here in 9/17/64, at...
10/09/2020

As today marks John Lennon's 80th birthday, there is a bit of history to the Beatles, as they played here in 9/17/64, at Municipal Stadium. It was the only concert on this leg of the tour that was not a sell-out. Here is an original ticket. Look at the price!

Today is National Coffee Day! Perhaps the beverage of all historians? Support your local coffee shops!
09/29/2020

Today is National Coffee Day! Perhaps the beverage of all historians? Support your local coffee shops!

Although not historical, it is some fun for a Monday night! He is rooting!
09/28/2020

Although not historical, it is some fun for a Monday night! He is rooting!

This will be an historic election. In 42 days America will vote! Are you registered?
09/22/2020

This will be an historic election. In 42 days America will vote! Are you registered?

Pieces to the history of OP #3 - Every train needs a conductor and Lon Cave was one of the earliest. He built a house at...
09/14/2020

Pieces to the history of OP #3 - Every train needs a conductor and Lon Cave was one of the earliest. He built a house at 79th and OP Drive from Sears, Roebuck & Co catalog in 1908. He only worked for the Strang Line for two years and was elected Johnson County sheriff in 1910. He later bought the Keyser Hardware store on Santa Fe.

It may not be historical but our World Champion Kansas City Chiefs kick-off the 2020 NFL season tonight! I know we’re wa...
09/10/2020

It may not be historical but our World Champion Kansas City Chiefs kick-off the 2020 NFL season tonight! I know we’re watching!

OPHS will sell the State Bank Building in Stanley. The society purchased the property in 2012 and used it for exhibits a...
09/09/2020

OPHS will sell the State Bank Building in Stanley. The society purchased the property in 2012 and used it for exhibits and administration. The building was in jeopardy in 1996 due to road widening but OPHS stepped in to save it. It was moved to its current location. The building sale is to provide OPHS with much needed funds to continue with restoring the Strang Depot that was purchased last year in Downtown Overland Park .

09/07/2020
Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo
09/05/2020

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo

Pieces to the history of OP #2 - Strang knew that the success of his suburban lure was transportation. His railroading b...
09/05/2020

Pieces to the history of OP #2 - Strang knew that the success of his suburban lure was transportation. His railroading background was the key to transporting the urban dwellers of Kansas City to his new development. The Geraldine, named after his niece, was celebrated in 1907. Strang, and his brother Robert, stand on the far left.

As you may know OPHS released a second puzzle recently, and as with all historical stories, there are pieces, people, an...
09/02/2020

As you may know OPHS released a second puzzle recently, and as with all historical stories, there are pieces, people, and landmarks that complete the puzzle of a story. In the center of all was the founder, William B. Strang, Jr. He was an international builder of short line railroads living in NYC. It was the great flood of 1903 that his widowed mother requested William to get her out of the deplorable conditions of Kansas City, MO. Dutifully, he returned and settled his mother at the farm of a friend, George Metcalf. The clean air, and no possibility of flooding, led Strang to develop a fresh community linked by an interurban railroad, and as one says, a town was born.

A beautiful, sunny Sunday is a good reason to take a walk through the just dedicated Thompson Park in Downtown OP. Pack ...
08/30/2020

A beautiful, sunny Sunday is a good reason to take a walk through the just dedicated Thompson Park in Downtown OP. Pack a snack, bring the kids and enjoy the new park. We love that the historical Strang carriage house looks so well in the new surroundings! The park received a generous donation from Frank & Evangeline Thompson. Photos courtesy of Brad Moore.

The City of Overland Park has announced that all Fall Festival events are cancelled due to Covid-19. It was an event we ...
08/27/2020

The City of Overland Park has announced that all Fall Festival events are cancelled due to Covid-19. It was an event we looked forward to each year and will welcome its return in 2021.

OPHS would like acknowledge the historic passage in August 1920, A woman’s right to vote. The 19th Amendment was passed ...
08/26/2020

OPHS would like acknowledge the historic passage in August 1920, A woman’s right to vote. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1919 and ratified in August 1920. Kansas was the first state, in 1867, to have a referendum on the ballot to allow women to vote. It was defeated. In 1887, women were allowed to vote for local town officials but not in national elections. In 1912, Kansas gave women the right to vote in all elections, 8 years before it was ratified in 1920.

#throwbackthursday - As many of you know, OPHS purchased the Strang Depot now encased inside the former Suburban buildin...
08/20/2020

#throwbackthursday - As many of you know, OPHS purchased the Strang Depot now encased inside the former Suburban building. As excavation, renderings and fundraising are in the planning stages, this building was the heart and soul of Overland Park's history. It was 114 years ago on August 24, 1906 that William Strang Jr. ran this ad in the Kansas City Star. In his ad he highlights the access to his new town via the Santa Fe Trail on his new electric motor car. His interurban railroad was the ticket to the new town. The ad features the Depot. Photos courtesy of Images of Overland Park by Suzee SoldanEls Oberg

Well done, Florent! Puzzle finished! Photo courtesy of Brad Moore.
08/17/2020

Well done, Florent! Puzzle finished! Photo courtesy of Brad Moore.

08/13/2020

What does a historian do when a work day is done? He does puzzles! Florent Wagner, our beloved office administrator and OP historian, gave our new 504 piece puzzle a go. Florent is so versed in OP history he may have just put it together knowing every "piece" of our wonderful past! Our puzzles are available at our office during business hours. $25 per puzzle or you may order online on our store webpage for $35 which includes shipping.

We would like to thank everyone who purchased a puzzle this past weekend. There are still plenty left and you can either...
08/10/2020
OPHS Puzzles (2)

We would like to thank everyone who purchased a puzzle this past weekend. There are still plenty left and you can either pick one up at our office($25) during normal business hours or if you live outside the area you may purchase one($35 includes shipping) on our online store. They are fun and support OPHS.
https://www.ophistorical.org/store/c15/OPHS_Puzzles_%282%29.html

Overland Park, Overland Park History, Strang, Overland Park Beginnings, Downtown Overland Park, Historical Overland Park, Overland Park Trivia

Drive up, pay up and pick up your OPHS puzzles this morning at our office 7319 W. 79 St., from 10am-2pm. Cash or check(p...
08/08/2020

Drive up, pay up and pick up your OPHS puzzles this morning at our office 7319 W. 79 St., from 10am-2pm. Cash or check(payable to OPHS)only. We have 2 puzzles to choose from for just $25 each. All proceeds benefit OPHS. We request that you stay in your car but you will drive away with a box full of fun!

08/05/2020
Redirecting to https://www.ophistorical.org/store/c15/OPHS_Puzzles_%282%29.html

OUR PUZZLES HAVE ARRIVED! We have 2 offerings - our very popular 4/C Nostalgia puzzle or our NEW B/W OP Historic puzzle. We will hold a Flash Sale this Saturday(August 8 bet. 10am-2pm) It is cash or check only! Each puzzle is $25. If you live outside OP and want a puzzle - you can go to our website and order one. They are $35 which includes shipping. Either way you can enjoy the fun of our OPHS Puzzles. To order online:
https://www.ophistorical.org/store/c15/OPHS_Puzzles.html

07/30/2020
Update on our fabulous puzzles- we don’t know yet!
07/28/2020

Update on our fabulous puzzles- we don’t know yet!

We would like to extend our sincere sympathy in the passing of Dick Bond. He served the KS legislature as President of t...
07/26/2020

We would like to extend our sincere sympathy in the passing of Dick Bond. He served the KS legislature as President of the Senate, worked diligently for the restoration of the capital in Topeka, and for education. He was 84.

It will be a season for the history books with just 60 games but today is Opening Day for our KC Royals. We play the Ind...
07/24/2020

It will be a season for the history books with just 60 games but today is Opening Day for our KC Royals. We play the Indians in Cleveland. Game time 6 PM! Go Royals!

#TBT - It would be at this time of year that we would be gathering for our annual Indoor Summer Picnic but alas 2020 is ...
07/16/2020

#TBT - It would be at this time of year that we would be gathering for our annual Indoor Summer Picnic but alas 2020 is not a usual year. However, fun and memories cannot be replaced as we share some photos from past picnics!

The OPHS is pleased to announce our newest board member - Steve Noll! A very impressive credentials, we look forward to ...
07/11/2020

The OPHS is pleased to announce our newest board member - Steve Noll! A very impressive credentials, we look forward to his insight and expertise. Welcome Steve!

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo
07/05/2020

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo
07/05/2020

Overland Park Historical Society and Heritage Center's cover photo

Puzzle sales soar as a leading at-home activity and we are delighted! The puzzles are coming!
07/05/2020
With People Stuck At Home, Jigsaw Puzzle Sales Soar

Puzzle sales soar as a leading at-home activity and we are delighted! The puzzles are coming!

While demand has spiked, puzzlemakers are having a hard time keeping up, especially as social distancing and business closures hobble production. Plus: tips for puzzlers.

Address

7319 West 79 Street
Overland Park, KS
66204

Opening Hours

Monday 13:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 13:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 13:00 - 17:00
Friday 13:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 14:00

Telephone

(913) 381-8867

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Comments

https://youtu.be/2RkxhXQnVSw Found this video on YouTube another had popped up metro north mall cool stuff
Can someone tell me if Metcalf was also historically 69 Highway going thru Overland Park and approximately when did it switch to how it is now?
This is an awesome place
No one ever knows the story behind these stones... I do. Do you?
Searching for anyone connected with the JD New family in the area of Overland Park Kansas in the early 1940s. Trying to fill in my dad's family history. Would appreciate any information. Shirley Jones NE Arkansas
A little practical way to honor a Veteran… I’ve asked this man to tell his story. Steve Woelk of Basehor, Kansas, was in the Navy in 1968 when he and the entire crew of the USS Pueblo was taken captive by the North Koreans. They were held for 11 months, abused and tortured, and the ship never returned. This is a bit of forgotten history, but this man deserves to tell his story. Steve is now in his 70’s. Please come hear him tell his story in about 30 minutes. [Thursday, November 15th, Johnny’s Tavern, 6765 W 119th St, Overland Park, order meal or appetizer at 6:45pm, Steve will have the floor by 7:15pm. Please RSVP to Tim O’Brien at [email protected] or 573-528-1574.]
Hi OP, please share and support our local businesses. We are starting the first ever Second Sunday! A family fun event. We would love to see your page supporting this event. We have been approved by the city of Overland Park and are excited to grow this new monthly event. Below is the link to our page. More to come in the future!:) https://www.facebook.com/StanleyStationSecondSunday/ https://www.facebook.com/events/2138360563050267/
They had it all down the next day.
I love this pic. From what I read,though,it didn't actually become a city until 1960 (4 yrs after I was born). So this must've been taken back when it was part of Mission Township. Correct?
This didn't last long in Downtown Overland Park. My kids thought it was cool.
REQUEST FOR INFO ON HISTORIC NEON SIGN: Does anyone know who removed an abandoned business neon pole sign within the last month at 7755 SM Pkwy ?? It was for the defunct "Missionhill Cleaners and Laundry" which must have been an active business at the OP address. There was interest in trying to preserve it like the "White Haven" sign was saved. If anyone know where the sign is...or if it may still be salvaged, please advise. Thank you! :)
I highly suggest anyone interested in PRESERVING downtown attend this: