General Museum Information: Susan Hawksworth, Director
Phone: 785.309.5776 (day) 785.825.6306 (evening)
A Tale of Kansas Homesteaders and Their Fight for Survival
The Smoky Hill Museum Store is holding a meet the author and book signing on Saturday, April 25, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Local area author Tom Fleming will be on hand to sign copies of his book, Prairie Tapestry – A Tale of Kansas Homesteaders and Their Fight for Survival, which is available for purchase in the Museum Store.
From 1859 to 1882, pioneers poured into Ottawa County, Kansas, lured by Eastern newspapers promising an Eden to a recession and war ravaged nation. Prairie Tapestry relates the stories of true life homesteaders, and how they endured the droughts, prairie fires, Indian raids, and grasshopper plagues. Cities sprang up from the grasslands, only to wither into ghost towns. Many settlers lost everything they owned.
Wild Bill Hickok, George Washington Carver, and Susan B. Anthony are among the visitors and homesteaders who passed through Ottawa County. Included in the cast of characters of Prairie Tapestry are the land’s original inhabitants, the Native Americans - Pawnee and Cheyenne - who fought back against the encroaching white
population that threatened their way of life, culminating in the 1868 Indian raid in Ottawa
Ottawa County’s history was typical of what was happening throughout the American Midwest as a new nation pushed westward, transforming landscapes and cultures. Fleming brings to life the
courage and perseverance of the Kansas homesteaders, and these attributes shaped the character that is unique to the American spirit of today. As one reader commented, “It will change the way you think about Kansas.”
Tom Fleming’s family roots reach far back into Kansas history. He holds a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and is an adjunct professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Prairie Tapestry is his second book.
While picking up a copy of Prairie Tapestry at the Museum Store, be sure to check out all the other great Kansas items available.
Proceeds from the Museum Store support the services, programs and events of the Smoky Hill Museum. The Smoky Hill Museum is a nationally accredited history museum, in the heart of downtown Salina, Kansas. This FREE museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-6, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5.
The Smoky Hill Museum is a nationally accredited history museum, in the heart of downtown Salina, Kansas. This FREE museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-5, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5. Also, be sure to stop by the Museum Store for a wide variety of regional and Kansas products, local artwork and gifts for all ages.
For needed accommodations, please call Nona Miller at 309-5776 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Every effort will be made to accommodate known disabilities. For material or speech access, please call at least 5 working days prior to the event.