Moundridge Museum Complex
(The Moundridge Museum Complex includes the addresses of 402, 404, and 406 West Cole in Moundridge, KS)
The Cole House Museum
Moundridge Electric Shop
Water Tower Display
COLE HOUSE MUSEUM
Located at 402 W. Cole street. This house was the first house located in what is now the city of Moundridge, Kansas. It began in 1875 as a two-room two story house with a lean-to kitchen. Through additions over the years, it grew to 14-rooms. The house was owned by the Cole family for over 110 years. Visiting the home is like stepping back into history when time moved at a slower pace.
Photographs tell the story of one pioneer family's struggle to establish a home on the Kansas prairie. Handmade quilts, clothing, furniture, dishes and other personal artifacts are included in the museum tour. Most of the trees and flowers were planted by the Coles. A 21-ft deep, hand-dug well was used by the family to cool their food and is still on the property. Visitors can experience what life was like in the late 1800's through stories about the family.
The house was donated to the City of Moundridge in 1985 by Grace Kutnink, the grand daughter of builders, Drusilla and Thornton Cole, to be developed into a museum. The contents of the house are owned by the Moundridge Historical Association. The house and artifacts have been restored to be enjoyed by all who visit. The first floor is accessible to visitors with special needs. The second floor of the house, grounds, family and area history is assessable through a video that was graciously put together by our members.
Completed in 2010, and located on the Cole House grounds at 406 W Cole , the museum displays many artifacts used in early agriculture in the area. Plows, implements and planters date back to the 1800's. Descriptions of their uses and donors are included with displays. Early 1900 tractors, are shown for your information and enjoyment.
Located in the big red barn on the museum grounds, the Heritage Museum opened in October of 2011. Displays feature information and exhibits pertaining to the early residents of the area their religion, genealogy, oral histories, business, medicine, domestic arts, photographs, music, art and military.
Newspapers on microfilm from 1887 are available for research. Antique printing presses from the local newspapers are also on display.
The Heritage Museum will depict the history of many families in the area. Through their generous donations artifacts, as well as financial gifts and volunteering their time, they have made this resource a reality for others to enjoy.
The Blacksmith shop is located north of the Heritage Museum. It was built by volunteers who are local blacksmiths and volunteers. The project began as an Eagle Scout project and was completed in October of 2012. It is an operating blacksmith shop where visitors can come to watch this skill still being practiced today. The front facade is made from used barn wood. Flaps on each side and back provides visitors good visibility as well as needed ventilation for the blacksmiths.
MOUNDRIDGE ELECTRIC SHOP
The Moundridge was restored in 2019. It was moved to the Museum property in 1987, from its location in the 100 block of West Cole. It has many items from the original business donated by the Zene Huffman family.
WATER TOWER DISPLAY
The Tower was removed from service in 2016. In April of 2016, the Tower was torn down and the pieces with the name Mound Ridge on them were saved and donated to The Moundridge Historical Association. The pieces were stored on the grounds of the Moundridge Museum Complex while an area for them to be displayed could be prepared. In August of 2020 that area was completed, and the pieces were erected as you see them today.
The tower construction material is ¼” steel plate held together with 3/4” steel rivets and interior welds.
Condition of the pieces are as they were when the Tower was torn down. Paint has been applied where damage was done by the cutting torch.
Located at 205 W. Cole, the Depot Museum was built as an actual railroad depot in the 1880's when the railroad came through the area. In 1986 the building was purchased and moved a few feet off the railroad right-of-way. Artifacts and photographs depict the importance of the railroad to the development of Moundridge. The interior of the Depot Museum has been restored. The exterior was completed in the spring of 2015. It is open by appointment.