By Frank J. Buchman
“The best kept secret anywhere.”
Easily that could be the most accurate description of the Highground Museum.
Lloyd and Marlene Florence have six buildings filled with the most unique and unusual collectibles imaginable at their rural home six miles northeast of Council Grove on Old Highway 4.
Best part of the secret is that Lloyd and Marlene Florence are anxious to share their fondness of collections for all others to see.
For several years now, the energetic couple has planned a special occasion for that distinct purpose.
“Highground Museum will host our Flint Hills Heritage Day Saturday, Sept. 17, and everybody’s welcome to come see what all we have accumulated through our lifetimes of collecting from throughout the country,” Lloyd Florence invited.
Not only will visitors have an opportunity to tour the buildings jam-packed with collectibles, but a full slate of additional attractions is planned.
“There’ll be demonstrations all day long featuring more than 100 years of haying methods. From mowing with horses, to stacking with pitchforks, to the first small square balers ever used, and so much more are planned, too,” Florence said.
Schedule has set activities from 10 o’clock in the morning to 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
“We really think folks will probably want to come spend the whole day, and to make that possible and even more worthwhile, the Southfork Smokeshack will be serving a barbecue lunch. It’ll be worth coming for that alone,” Florence assured.
“The good eating will be accompanied by live Bluegrass and gospel music,” he quickly added.
There’ll be a horse shoeing demonstration at 11 o’clock, and a working spinning wheel operating throughout the day.
Additional attractions include blacksmithing, corn grinding, cider making, knitting, rope making, and crocheting rugs.
Displays of Hit and Miss Engines are planned, along with an exhibit about trapping.
“We’re especially happy to be showing a 1905 Stevens-Duryea two-cylinder, five horsepower Runabout that originally sold for about $1,000,” Florence exclaimed.
A water well drill, used in 1920, is to be on display.
To assure it’ll be a day for the entire family, several especially planned activities have been planned for children.
“We’ll have a kid’s sack race with prizes, starting at 1 o’clock,” Florence said.
“Some might consider them just for the younger set, but we’re also planning a cow chip throwing contest as well as a hay maze. Everybody will probably enjoy participating in those fun times,” the host added.
Prizes are to be awarded in the cow chip throw event at 1:30, while opportunity to meander through the intricately-networked hay maze will be throughout the day.
What’s the best part of it all? “There’s free admission. Bring the family, and come on out and enjoy. Let’s have some fun,” Florence encouraged.
Direction signs are to be posted to assist in locating Highground Museum in the green luscious Flint Hills.
Information is available from Florence at 620-767-5357.