Our mission is to preserve our local history: Early KS settlements, agricultural history, railroads, trails, small towns, history of NE KS communities.
More progress pictures for the barn. May have a roof by the weekend.
Thank's to a donation from Schenck Process the Albany Drink Shack has a counter top!
Albany bake sale at Orscheln's starting at 8:30
The rain came and the mud stayed, but we held on and had a great show! A huge thanks to all the volunteers and exhibitors that came and pitched in to make the show a success! Thanks also to the City of Sabetha and the surrounding community for all the support. THANK YOU!
Antiques Collectibles And Vintage Helena, Missouri
Took this picture today at the Old Albany Days in Sabetha Kansas. I would love to have a room set up with this display in my home ❤️❤️❤️
Breakfast served until 10:00, Come on out and enjoy the day!
Breakfast is being served until 10:00, come on out and enjoy the day!
Starting to come together. Come and see this weekend.
Old Albany Days 2018 is coming up soon! Our volunteers have been working many hours to prepare. Come see us!
Click here to see highlights from last year's show! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1950823208520949&type=1&l=3908198a12
Albany Museum's cover photo
"Where's Papa gone to?" Asked Eliza when Mother and Johnny return from hanging the first load up to dry. Eliza was still trying hard to work the sudsy clothes on the washboard, but the work was getting to her, and her fingers were already pink from the lye soap she was using.
"I think I hear a wagon." Johnny spoke up as he stepped beside his sister. Running outside, excited for anything happening that could distract him from the dreary wash-day blues. Billy and Joe the red mules were standing in the drive, and behind them was Papa and the lumber wagon.
"Just the young man I need. Come help me with this load, my boy. It's a surprise for mother."
Johnny boy came up and struggled to help unload a strange, round wooden barrel looking thing from the back of the wagon.
As they carried it onto the back porch, Eliza and Mother came to see what was going on.
"What is all this?" Asked mother with a stern glance at Papa.
"I bought it at the general store in town my dear. Had it sent off for about two weeks ago, and it finally came in on the train. I have felt so bad for you and the little ones working so hard on Monday, that I thought everyone would like this."
"It's a washing machine mama!" Cried Eliza in excitement. "Just like the ones I saw in the Montgomery Ward catalog."
Mama didn't know what to make of it, but the tub was filled with warm water from the stove and then clothes and lye soap.
A long wooden handle was attached to it, and father demonstrated it, working the agitator back and forth. Then, after rinsing, the wringer crank was turned to press the water out.
"Keep your fingers away from the rollers, else they'll get pinched." Warned Father.
Soon, Eliza and Johnny were eagerly taking turns swinging the handle back and forth with mama supervising.
"It works so easily and quickly", Mother said, "I can hardly believe it."
"Well", said Papa, "I hope it will make Wash Day a bit easier for all of you."
I hope this story made your Monday a bit brighter. Come see us at Old Albany Days, Sabetha, KS. The show is September 8th and 9th, and we will be celebrating the Story of Water on the American Frontier.
The washtubs are slowly filled with water from the strange little bucket, and many trips are taken by Johnny from the well to the house. Eliza helps her mother sort clothes and they begin washing and rinsing, with the clothes making a strange bumping sound as they are run across the washboard.
Eliza takes her turn at the washboard while her mother heats up more water on the cook stove. She begins to think her mother's fingers must be made of iron, the way she scrubs and cleans the dirty clothes for hours on end without a word of complaint. Fatigue and soreness in her hands begins, and she says to mother, " Mama, is laundry always this hard?"
Mother turns around, smiles and says, "Yes, and the more you think about it the harder it gets." Papa and Johnny know that mother works hard, especially on Wash Day, and try to avoid getting really dirty, but on a farm it's not easy to stay clean.
"Here's the last bucket, Mama." Johnny says as be pours the bucket into a pan on the stove.
"Thank you dear, now take these out to the clothesline and I will be out to help you hang them."
Johnny did as he was asked, carrying a heavily heaped wicker basket of damp clothes out the door to the clothesline off the back porch.
The clothesline is far above his head, but he is determined to help and manages to get one end of a pair of papa's trousers over the line. As he grabs clothespins, a gust of wind blows the trousers off and into the dirt and grass at his feet.
In a moment, mother is there, helping him brush off the debris and grass. "There there, that will be okay, no harm done, but you need to be a little taller before you hang clothes, Johnny."
"Yes mother." Johnny replies as he hands the damp clothes up to her.
I hope you enjoyed this part of a little story for Monday. Mondays were the traditional wash day for many folks, and as rough as your Monday might seem, it probably isn't as bad as scrubbing clothes by hand on a washboard.
Come out and learn about the story of Water on The American Frontier at Old Albany Days, September 8th and 9th. You won't want to miss it!
It was Monday again, little Eliza and Johnny realized as they stirred before dawn. Yesterday had been the church picnic, and so today must be Monday. As they padded softly into the kitchen the proof could be seen; two washtubs and a copper washboard.
"It's your turn to fetch the water Johnny." Eliza said as she started off to help mother gather up the clothes. Johnny knew it was his turn and did his chores, feeding the chickens, gathering eggs, and tending to the bottle calf that was being kept in the small pen. On his way back to the house he stopped at the little well under the sycamore tree in the yard.
A peculiar little bucket sat on the casing that rose about three feet above the ground. Attached to the bail was a heavy iron ring and a rope. The bottom had a little weighted trap door.
"I hope it doesn't burn me this time." He said as he recalled a harrowing incident two weeks ago in which the rope slipped through his fingers and left a nasty rope burn. So, carefully he lowered the strange little bucket with the trapdoor into the well, and watched it disappear about 10 feet down. The rope went slack, and waiting a few seconds, he began to draw the rope back up, this time the weight was much heavier.
The little bucket re-appeared and with it cool fresh water. Unhooked from the rope, the little bucket with water dribbled here and there a bit as the young man went dashing off to the kitchen where the washtubs waited.
I hope you enjoyed this little story. Not every well had a hand pump, windmill, or pumpjack on it. Some were of the old style, and used a simple pulley, bucket and rope to retrieve the water. As tomorrow is Monday, a wash-day story seems appropriate to lessen the blues.
Come out and join us in 12 days at Old Albany Days at Sabetha, Kansas. September 8th and 9th we will be celebrating the meaning of precious water on the American frontier, how it was used, and what it took to use it.
The show is coming up soon! Preparations are being made, you don't want to miss this!
Dry Times in Kansas: Part III
Submitted by Travis McCoy
The garden flourishes in the warm sunlight with large green beans, ripening crimson tomatoes, and long ears of sweet corn with whiskery silk shooting from their tops. The ground is cool and damp with water, a scarce commodity until now. Muddy footprints and muddy feet are signs of a little girl’s hard work in the garden, keeping the weeds at bay and the fresh vegetables in an ever-filling basket.
Our “giant” windmill towers above the little farmyard and hums along happily. Fresh clean water flows abundantly into the little wooden tank as the pump rod moves up and down in its metronomic beat. The girl is kept busy hauling buckets of this wonderful water up to the garden and making sure the plants are kept happy. When the cows arrive after their nap, the scene becomes competitive as they begin slurping up the water as fast as it comes pouring out.
As the cows drink, the tank begins to empty. Water has stopped flowing from the pipe, and a whining metallic creak can be heard above at the head of the windmill. The wheel freezes in place, and the pump rod has stopped its constant beat. The breeze has stopped, making the air warm and muggy once again.
Cicadas and grasshoppers can be heard chuckling among themselves as the little girl trots along to the woodshed where a strange wheeled machine is parked under the lean-to. Papa stops splitting firewood and helps to push the contraption up to the windmill, with his daughter at the helm, pulling and steering the tiny cart.
An incentive to buy the windmill; the strange contraption, called a “gasoline engine” was included to be used on a trial basis for 30 days. Papa is still on the fence about whether to purchase such a costly and complicated little machine. In a few short minutes the pump rod is disconnected from the motionless windmill, and the pumpjack is connected. A long belt that resembles a looped ribbon links the pumpjack to the little engine.
“Can I start it Papa?” The little girl asks as she gazes at the bright paint and the shiny spoked wheels of the engine. Papa nods but remains watchful for any trouble. The switch to the batteries is pulled, fuel valve opened, and with a short “flip” of the flywheels, the little contraption begins to snort and pop merrily. The engine fires with a crack, then breathes and coasts as the belt and pumpjack start turning. A small puff of smoke can be seen occasionally with the pop of the exhaust.
At the other end of the belt, the pumpjack is turning, the gears meshing and the arms raising and falling with the sucker rod. The water returns, bubbling and gushing as if it had never been absent. The tank fills up again and the thirsty cows come back to drink some more.
I hope you enjoyed this final part of Dry Times in Kansas. Join us at Old Albany Days on September 8th and 9th and check us out on facebook.com/AlbanyMuseum. We will be sharing The Story of Water on the American Frontier with everyone. Thank you!
New video by Travis McCoy
Photos from Albany Museum's post
Dry Times in Kansas: Part II
Submitted by Travis McCoy
Published in the 8-1-18 edition of the Sabetha Herald
The dry, sweltering heat persists as the days of summer drag along, occasionally broken by a stray thunderstorm, promising much but delivering little. Often the clouds gather darkly, only to veer off to the north or south, as if some unseen force is deflecting them.
A heavily laden freight wagon makes its way up the dusty drive as the family dog begins barking, heralding the strange arrival. The wagon is filled with long galvanized angle iron, pipes, and pieces that resemble something cut from an enormous metallic pie.
Work begins in earnest as the driver of the wagon and his assistants begin unloading bits and pieces. The pump head, pipe and cylinder are the first to go in, making the connection between the precious water deep in the ground and the family who needs it on the surface.
Pieces of iron and steel begin finding their place; being joined together with nuts and bolts. A long, tapered boxy-looking structure takes shape as the pile of parts slowly dwindles. A strange looking piece with gears and arms is mounted on the small end of this structure. The pie pieces take shape to form a wheel. A sleeping giant has been born!
This giant does not remain at rest but is carefully positioned and fitted with an A-frame made of timbers. Dust dances lightly as the horses step forward, their shoulders lean into the collars and harness creaks as the load begins to rise. Up, up, up and farther still the giant rises, the galvanized iron begins to gleam in the fading light of day. With a light thump the four legs of the giant finally rest on the ground and the steel structure rattles with the impact.
The lever on the tower is released and a hush falls over everyone as their eyes gaze intently upon the head of the giant. The vane is unlatched and jumps out to turn the wheel into the prevailing wind. A warm breeze picks up and the wheel begins to turn, creating a rhythmic, poetic motion as the pump rod rises and falls. The man and his assistants call the giant a “windmill” and soon the water comes bouncing and gurgling from the pipe and into the little wooden tank.
I hope you enjoyed part two of this little story about dry times in Kansas. While some remain in service pumping water for grazing cattle, many windmills today stand in silence. Harsh wind and rain weather them, but still they stand as lonely sentinels in the countryside, a reminder of the value of water.
We invite you to join us for Old Albany Days, September 8th and 9th. We are celebrating the discovery and utilization of Water on the American Frontier. Become a part of the story as we explore windmills, pumps, drilling rigs, and much more!
Albany Drink Shack
Albany Museum's cover photo
Albany Historical Society
A description of a well cylinder and how the components inside work to pump water.
Albany Drink Shack is under way
Dry Times in Kansas
Submitted by Travis McCoy
The creek is dry and showing its muddy bed only in the lowest spots as the hot July sun reaches out with its warm fingers of light, vaporizing what was once wet and dry baking the soil, plants, and animals left behind. The once green, lush grasses of the fields have turned brown in the hot dry air, and for once, even the weeds seem to be struggling for survival. Great cracks have opened in the dark brown soil, as if threating to swallow up features of this world and send them into the depths below.
Something must be done if the farm is to survive this arduous drought. The stock cattle need water, as do the horses, hogs, and chickens. The vegetables in the garden that will ensure plenty of food for the long winter must have water as well. Some of the livestock had to be sold last week due to limited forage in the pasture, and a paltry hay crop was gathered that has left the hay mow only half full. In trying times like this, the determined, stubborn, and tenacious will of the farm family shines through.
A spade, bucket, and rope are brought up from the barn and the digging begins. Grandfather used a forked green willow branch to “divine” where the water might be, and so marked the spot before dirt was disturbed. The going is strenuously difficult, and often a pickaxe is needed to cut through the hard soil and dried roots as the hole begins to drop deeper and deeper into the parched earth. Eventually the hole reaches 20 feet in depth, and while damp, water has not been found. A week of back-breaking work yields no more than some mud in the bottom of a seemingly bottomless hole.
As the next day dawns and chores are completed, a curious young girl peers over the edge of the hole and drops in a small dirt clod. A splash is heard echoing back as the little girl stands up and runs whooping with joy to find her mother and father. “Water in the hole! Water!” She screams in delight as mother and father come to investigate the commotion. The casing of the well begins in earnest, so as to keep the earthen walls from caving in.
I hope you enjoyed this 1st part of a short story about dry times on the frontier. It seems remarkable to me that even a century or more later, the sobering truth of a drought in farm country is no less worrisome.
We are celebrating the discovery and utilization of Water on the American Frontier at the 52nd Annual Old Albany Days. Windmills, pumps, drilling rigs, and the like are all part of the show. Come join us September 8th and 9th at the Albany Museum.
This article was published in the 7-25-18 edition of the Sabetha Herald Newspaper.
Photos from Albany Museum's post
Albany Barn starting to take shape
Just another day in the mill making toothpicks.
We can't decide! We need to pick one picture for the show button and a second picture for the exhibitor magnets. Please help us choose.
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|Sunday||14:00 - 17:00|
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