The Nodaway County Historical Society (NCHS) in Maryville, Missouri, is excited to announce that it has been selected to host the Smithsonian travelling exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” from October 12 to December 2. The NCHS and the surrounding community have been expressly chosen by the Missouri Humanities Council to host this exhibit, which was created by the Museum on Main Street program, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. It will tour only six communities in Missouri: Maryville, Trenton, Butler, Sullivan, Aurora, and Perryville. The NCHS is proud to be a part of this prestigious group.
People around the country are drawn to compete in sports while others gather on the sidelines and in their living rooms to cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. The Smithsonian exhibit features many different topics, including the evolution of sports equipment and safety concerns, gender and race, forgotten sports and new cutting-edge sports, mascots and cheerleaders, the marching band, and so much more. Dr. Elyssa Ford, associate professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University and vice president of the NCHS, said, “Whatever your interest, it is featured in some way in this professionally designed, multi-media exhibit!”
To get you revved up this summer for the many events that will happen at the museum and throughout the community when the exhibit is on display, there are some programs already underway. The Maryville Public Library is hosting a “Sports in My Family” photo contest. Entries can be emailed to director@maryvillepubliclibraryorg. (deadline October 1). Northwest Missouri State University’s Student Activities Council is featuring several sport-focused movies in their free summer movie series: McFarland USA on June 27, Million Dollar Arm on July 18, and Invictus on August 8. These family-friendly movies start at 7 p.m. in the Ron Houston Performing Arts Center. More information about these summer events and the exhibit can be found at
To tell the Nodaway County’s rich sporting history, the NCHS and the Northwest University Archives are creating their own exhibits to highlight these local stories. Jessica Vest, the Northwest archivist, has been working for the past year with student interns on a series of exhibits that feature the university’s storied athletic prowess and tell some of its less well-known events. The NCHS is doing the same to highlight local teams and players. To do this, the NCHS is asking community members for their stories, photographs, and objects. Did you grow up in Nodaway County or attend school there? Do you have a mascot uniform from years ago? What about that letter jacket that grandpa gave you? A basketball, soccer ball, or football from one of the many school championships? A baton from the marching band in the 1970s? Photographs of county teams?
Please bring your stories, photographs, and objects and help the society better tell the story of sports in Nodaway County! “Call for Objects” dates: Thursday June 28, 4-8 p.m. at the NCHS (110 N. Walnut St., Maryville) and Saturday, July 14, 12-3 p.m. at the Maryville Public Library (509 N. Main St., Maryville).
These items may be considered for donation to the NCHS or the Northwest archives or they may be given on temporary loan for this special exhibit. Call the NCHS with questions about the exhibit or these events at 660-582-8176 or email Dr. Elyssa Ford at