The Museum Complex
Rock Creek Valley Historical Society first established a museum in the stone church shown below in 1978. Since that time, the collection of historical items and structures has continued to expand, resulting in a complex of historically significant buildings and displays. The main building shown above was completed in 2001. This building features a replica of an early rural schoolroom, instruments used by an early doctor and dentist, historic Oregon Trail information, a Marlboro cowboy display featuring Wayne Dunafon, our local Marlboro Man of magazine and TV ad fame in the 60's and 70"s. Wiziarde Traveling Novelty Show memorabilia are also on display, as well as many other historically significant objects. Other buildings of the museum complex are briefly described below.
The stone church Museum was built by the German Evangelical Association in 1871. In 1914 the Church of Christ purchased the property and used the building until 1977, at which time the building and grounds were presented to the Rock Creek Valley Historical Society for the purpose of establishing a museum. Displays include memorabilia from the McComas Hotel that was on Main Street from the early days until 1977, when it was demolished to make room for expansion of the Farmers State Bank. Also displayed in this building are a replica of an early day kitchen, church items from early days, some antique household utensils, clothing items, and other miscellaneous items of historic interest. Historical flags reflecting much of the history of the United States are also on display.
To accommodate large items, such as antique farm machinery, this annex was built. In addition to the farm equipment, a railroad car preserved from the days of the Westmoreland Railroad is on display. A large collection of printing equipment essentially tracing the history of newspapers from the earliest days until the advent of computers and digitally processed newspapers can also be seen in this building.
Built in 1867 by Henry Labbe, this 2-story log cabin became home to Isaac and Hettie Summervill when they were married in 1886. Eight children were born to this union; one child, the only boy, died in early childhood. Isaac died in 1912, but Hettie and her daughters continued to tend the farm and Hettie called this cabin home until her death in 1955. Oliver (Doc) Maskil remembered visiting his grandmother in this house, and provided for having it moved here from its original site near Neuchatel, Kansas. It is furnished with utensils and other household items similar to what Hettie herself would have used.
The Wiziarde family owned a bakery and restaurant in Westmoreland, as well as having a Traveling Novelty Show that featured acrobatic and other circus acts. Family and other members of the troupe of entertainers trained in this barn, which was on the Wiziarde property. Frank Wiziarde, one of the children of this family, later became the star of a Saturday morning children's show on WIBW TV in Topeka, Kansas, where he was known as Whizzo, the Clown. The building was donated to the historical society and moved to the museum grounds where it is being restored.
(Click on "News" in menu bar for updates and pictures of restoration progress)