The Atchison County Historical Society Museum is no longer. After 35 years of collecting and displaying our county’s history on Main Street in Tarkio, the building has been sold and the items have been given back to those who donated them or will be sold to interested parties. Items for sale include artifacts, pictures, household decor, and clothing spanning 150 years. Some of the other items that are still left at the museum are pictured above.
Pictured above is a tuxedo worn by Gavin Doughty, as well as dresses Atchison County women once wore.
After 35 years of Atchison County’s history being displayed in a museum on Main Street in Tarkio, the Atchison County Historical Society board has decided to sell the building. The museum has been opened by appointment only for some time now and due to illness, busy schedules, other obligations, etc., the board voted to close the museum permanently.
Spanning 150 years of history, the collection took up over two floors of space in the massive building on the 400th block of Main Street, which years ago housed a hardware store. Most of the items that could be seen at the museum have been given back to the families who donated them originally or sold to interested parties. The David Rankin and Rankin family items have been taken to Tarkio College and there will eventually be a “Rankin Room” added to the museum. The Mule Barn replica made by Larry McKinnon and the Rankin farm house replica made by Virgil Walkup have been donated to Tarkio Tech. Virgil’s Mule Barn replica has been taken to the Tarkio Golf Course’s new clubhouse. Some of the items the museum housed have been given to people still living in Atchison County who have a connection to that particular collection. Many people have been thrilled to receive a piece of their own family history. After a month of dispersing items, just a few collections remain.
The board has decided to hold a tag sale for what is left. The sale will be held September 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the museum.
Although it’s sad to see our history scattered and no longer in the public’s view, it’s been a happy endeavor for those who are getting a piece of Atchison County to take home with them. For many years, the items have sat pretty much unseen by the public. Now, they will be treasured and looked upon by those who have a piece of Atchison County in their homes. We must thank the Historical Society Board members – Delores Harrington, Mike Christensen, Nancy Dunham, Kim Evans, and Wayne Thomson – for keeping the collection going for so long and preserving so much of what our founding fathers and earliest citizens held dear. Specifically, Delores Harrington has devoted so many years of her life to not only obtaining these pieces, but doing research for families who have Atchison County ties, but can’t get here themselves or are missing a piece of the puzzle. She’s organized displays, welcomed travelers into the museum on her own time, provided countless photographs, articles, and important pieces of information to the newspaper over the years (as well as tasty treats), and kept our history alive. Although the museum itself is now “history,” the artifacts it contained can go on “living” and reminding us that we are so lucky to call Atchison County home.