Martha Parker doesn't know where the time has gone, but on Saturday she was thrilled to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Clinton Lake Museum, where she serves as director.
"I'm just pleased we've come this far," she said.
Several changes have been in the works for the museum, which has been celebrating its history while looking forward to its future.
Recently the museum earned a $2,000 grant from the Kansas Arts Commission to help pay for cataloguing artifacts. The museum also officially marked the re-dedication of what the museum will now be known as, the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum.
But the excitement of the evening was the unveiling of a Lawrence artist's sculpture design that will serve as a beacon of light and symbol of freedom to represent the history of the Clinton area's involvement with the Civil War Underground Railroad era.
Stephen Johnson, with the help of Cotter Mitchell, a Kansas University art department coordinator, will build the artwork "Freedom's Light."
Johnson and three other artists were reviewed earlier in the year. Each had to create a design and proposal for the sculpture using a 35-foot tall windmill as the main feature. The historic windmill was donated to the museum by the late Tensie Oldfather, a Lawrence philanthropist.
Johnson's design is simple and complex, he said. Steel hoops that will be high-gloss and golden in color are key elements. Johnson said the hoops represent numerous ideas such as the circle of life, wheels of wagons, shackles of slavery and the rotation of the earth.
At the top of the windmill will be a sphere to catch sunlight. At the base will be a large hoop and eight more hoops, which will be geographically placed to represent the original eight communities of the Clinton area.
"It's terrific all the way around," he said.