Bissell Buzz 2016/5

This past week saw the official start of summer with the equinox, a strawberry moon and the wheat harvest in full swing.  Our flags are flying in the breeze indicating that the Fort is open for visitors.  However, to keep the Fort neat and exhibits optimized for our visitors, we continuously need some maintenance to be done.  The Phillips County Historical Society board members and their spouses and other relatives all pitched on Wednesday evening to help with some odd jobs, that needed some serious muscle power and many hands.  Three of the wagons are now in the pole barn, like we intended for them to be.  We added some leather horse halters, reins, bridles and also wooden yokes to the outside displays.  Most of the old farming implements are now seated on wooden platforms and the hole in the stockade fence is fixed at last.  Our traffic light that has been horizontal for so long, is also finally upright for visitors to enjoy.  A huge thank you once again to all who came and helped!

It was recently mentioned that we are in the process of setting up a blacksmith shop.  The materials have been ordered for the chimney and the safety screen, but the process has been delayed due to some unforeseen circumstances.  For us to operate this with all our own equipment and tools, we are still in need of some blacksmith tools.  These include a complete post leg vise and any tongs and hammers – these are items that a blacksmith seemingly never can have enough of.  See the photo for some examples – you just may have something lying around in your shop or garage that could be useful to us.Blacksmith tools required

Our first Fun Friday for the children will be held July 15, 2016.  Children from 6 to 12 years are invited to come and spend an hour of fun at the Fort.  It starts at 10am and if you are sending your child, please contact us to let us know in order to prepare beforehand. Participation is free.

During July we will also be hosting an exhibition of a private collection of music boxes.  The exhibition was inspired by our famous music box displayed in Heritage Hall, which came with a family in a covered wagon all the way from West Virginia.  To this day it delights our visitors when we add some “background music” while they are viewing the exhibits and the guns.

Our hours are Tuesday to Friday 9am – 4pm and Saturday 9am – 2pm.  Closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Regular updates and photos are posted on our Facebook page.

We can be contacted on (785) 543-6212 or on email at

Remember entrance is FREE. See ya at the Fort – hopefully soon!!

Ruby Wiehman – Curator