MANHATTAN, Kan. — An exhibit showcasing the collected history of Flint Hills communities that no longer exist will soon open in Manhattan.
The “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit will open Saturday at the Flint Hills Discovery Center and run through Jan. 8, The Manhattan Mercury (http://bit.ly/2dgIsjp ) reports.
The seven towns chosen for the exhibit are Broughton, Bodarc, Cedar Point, Chalk Mound, Maple City, Volland and Kaw Village.
The exhibit features a story booth, which is a replica of an old general storefront, where people can record their own stories. The stories will also be uploaded through the Storycorps app to the Library of Congress.
Exhibit curator Bonnie Lynn-Sherow says it’s meant to make people aware that their story about their hometown is important history.
“The history is made by regular people living their lives from day to day,” Lynn-Sherow said. “Their memories, the things they’ve saved and the stories that they tell their children are as much a part of history as anything we write about presidents, wars and big events.”
An interactive map near the entrance will show the growth and decline of more than 300 towns in the Flint Hills between 1850 and 2000.
Lynn-Sherow is also executive director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, which will use the stories that people record to follow up on new research. The center is named after the late Mark Chapman, who asked members of the Kansas State University history department about 10 years ago to recover stories of Broughton, his hometown.
Broughton was destroyed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1966 for flood control.
“He became more and more interested in recovering stories of towns, then we discovered that in the state of Kansas, there were over 9,000 place names,” Lynn-Sherow said. “There’s only about 650 left on a road map now. That’s a pretty astounding decline.”
Information from: The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, http://www.themercury.com