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Wednesday, December 07 2011

We have a lovely nativity scene collection on display that was graciously loaned to us from Augustans, Sam and Kathy Fouts.  As I was putting in each Mary and Joseph and each little baby Jesus I was wondering  about when people began decorating with nativity scenes. 

St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first  nativity scene in 1223.  It was a "living" one intended to encourage people to worship the birth of Christ.  This inspiration was born from a recent visit to the Holy Land where he had been shown Jesus's traditional birthplace.  Other communities across Europe started creating their own "living" nativities.  Eventually works of art were created depicting the nativity.  More and more elaborate exhibitions were created with wax and ivory figurines garbed in rich fabrics set against intricate landscapes.

Distinctive nativity scenes and traditions have been created around the world and are displayed during the Christmas season in churches, homes, shopping malls and other venues.  A tradition in England, involves baking a mince pie in the shape of a manger to hold the Christ child until dinnertime when the pie was eaten.  In the 17th century, the Puritans banned Christmas celebrations all together and passed specific legislation to outlaw such pies calling them "Idolaterie in crust"

The public display of nativity scenes has not been without controversy.  In federal court pleadings, the New York school system defended its ban on nativity scenes by claiming the historicity of the birth of Jesus was not actual fact.  In another instance, a suburban Philadelphia Pennsylvania school banned a nativity scene while permitting a menorah display.  The school's principal stated "Judaism is not just a religion, it's a culture".

Whether you choose to display a nativity scene or not, I hope you remember not only the long and rich history of the nativity scene but also it's representation of why we celebrate Christmas.




Posted by: Rachelle Meinecke AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 18 2011

The area around Augusta is rich in Native American history.  We know Osage were here at least until the 1860s but we're also learning more about the Wichita who were here much earlier.  I know there are a lot of people who enjoy the hunt and adrenalin rush of finding arrowheads, knife blades, scrapers and pottery.  Several people have collected these artifacts for many years.  So, what do you do with your collection?

Your collection is important to you, but it's also important to our community.    Artifacts tell stories and most will never be known without careful recording and study.  The information that can be collected from artifacts from a site is valuable to educating us about the past, our past.  This information is more important than even the artistic or monetary value a collection might possess.

So what are your responsibilities?  How do you care for you collection?  Are there legal issues?  Should you donate your collection?  All these questions can be answered in an informative brochure that we have at the Museum entitled "Preserving Private Archaeological Collections for Future Generations".   We should have brochures available by Thursday July 21st.  If you are not able to come in and get one I would be happy to mail you a brochure.

Posted by: Rachelle Meinecke AT 12:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 05 2009
Wow, what a great Yesteryear Fair.  Now I know this is the first one that I have been actively involved in but I must say it was probably the best.  It's always great when a group of people can come together and make something wonderful happen.  A big thank you to Troy Nordman for all of his hard work and organization of the event.  If you missed it, never fear we'll do it again next year!
Posted by: Rachelle Meinecke AT 08:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 28 2009
Fall is in the air and that can only mean one thing......Yesteryear Fair.  The week is going to be busy with exciting community activities leading up to Homecoming on Friday night.  Saturday is the annual Homecoming parade and with a Wizard of Oz theme it's a "must see".  I can't wait to see 30 munchkins belting out Follow the Yellow Brick Road and Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!  Following the parade is the Historical Society's annual Yesteryear Fair.  It's a time to unplug from our fast paced electronic age and experience life as is used to be.  Bring the kids and grandkids and let them see blacksmithing, soap making and flint knapping.  They can make a rope, play games and ride a horse drawn trolly, all for FREE.  Relax with a bowl of homemade ham and beans and cornbread, listen to some wonderful acoustic music and enjoy a beautiful October day.  Hope to see you there.
Posted by: Rachelle Meinecke AT 09:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 29 2009
I've never written a blog before so this is new to me but so is my job for that matter.  New things can be either exciting or daunting it depends on your outlook.  My experience is that new things have elements of both of those emotions.  Gaining knowledge is always exciting but the more you learn, the more you realize you really don't know, which can be daunting.  New things can change your view of old things.  I hope you''ll notice, as you visit the museum, that our new perspective has changed the way the museum looks, the way artifacts are displayed and maybe, just maybe you might learn something new in the process.
Posted by: Rachelle Meinecke AT 12:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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Augusta Historical Society
303 State
Augusta, Kansas 67010
Phone: 316.775.5655

Museum Hours:
Monday through Friday:  11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday:  1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
Sunday: Closed