Bissell Buzz 2015/12

There are only a few more days left of the Fort being open, before being closed again until May.  We are usually closed on a Monday, but with Labor Day falling on a Monday and being a holiday, we thought it would be a good idea to stay open for friends and family to visit.  We will be having little Scavenger Hunts throughout the day for the kids  – and their parents or even grandparents!

The Deputy Sheriff inspecting the scattered remnants of the fence to try and find some clues as to who was responsible for the damage.

The Deputy Sheriff inspecting the scattered remnants of the fence to try and find some clues as to who was responsible for the damage.

The fence on the east side of our premises was severely damaged on Friday night by a presumably reckless driving act. It appears to have been done by someone driving a pickup with a grill guard. A total of five sections were destroyed.  This is City property and will be repaired using taxpayers money, so if anyone knows anything about it, the City would really appreciate more information to find the person responsible for this.

Marge Lemon in the sod house, pointing to a photo of herself as a toddler

Marge Lemon in the sod house, pointing to a photo of herself as a toddler

Mrs. Marge Lemon came to visit the Fort recently and looked through the items she donated to us.  It took her on a very nostalgic trip going through various handmade items, clothing, kitchen utensils, photographs, toys and toiletries from her and her family from way back when.  What an elegant yet feisty lady she still is at 93!  Her father was Frank Hite, who at the age of 87 oversaw the building of the Sod House with the Phillipsburg High School Band.  And her grandfather was Frank Strain, who first settled in Phillips County between Kirwin and Agra in 1872 and later moved to Phillipsburg.  He was elected County Treasurer in 1878 and also helped organize the Citizen’s Bank, which became the First National Bank and was cashier until 188 9.  In 1896 he was appointed Probate Judge and served three full terms.  He also served as mayor of Phillipsburg 1883-4 and 1889-90.   His son Walter tragically died at the age of 22 in an accident with a runaway horse and buggy and was flung against a tree. Another child Edith died at the age of 5 from the diphtheria epidemic. Most of their items are on display in the Sod House and also in Heritage Hall.  They really were some exceptional pioneer people who made their mark here in the community.

Please save the date September 27!  Though the Fort will already be closed for tours, we will not have battened down our hatches yet for the winter season.  We will be hosting our third annual Chili Cook-off and will be an evening of fun, food and frolic. We want to invite all to come and try the various dishes and vote for your favorite.  We will be catering for non-chili eaters too and have something sweet and also some music.  We are also trying to arrange for a photo booth.  For those who wish to show off their chili cooking skills, why don’t you enter a team?  Entry forms can be obtained at H&R Block, Phillipsburg.

Please note again that we will be closing the Fort for daily visitors on Labor Day, i.e. September 7, 2015.  Until then our hours remain Tuesday to Friday 9am – 4pm and Saturday 9am – 2pm.  Closed Sundays, Mondays.  Regular updates and  photos are posted on our Facebook page.

We can be contacted on (785) 543-6212 or by email at ftbissell@live.com

Remember entrance is FREE. See ya at the Fort!!

Ruby Wiehman – Curator