The Douglas County Historical Society conducted its third meeting on Thursday evening in a series of efforts to gather community input on the future direction of the society and Watkins Community Museum of History.
Nearly 30 residents gathered at the Watkins museum to share their ideas. They discussed major themes in Kansas history, how to serve different constituencies such as historical researchers, tourists and community members, and how to best use the Watkins building.
“We’ve seen at all these meetings there’s a lot of people who care very deeply about our history,” said Dale Slusser, president of the Douglas County Historical Society. “It’s been very beneficial to hear their opinions.”
Previous meetings were in Lecompton and Baldwin City. The fourth and final meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17 at Clinton Town Hall.
Slusser said that at the previous meetings, other historical groups around the county seemed interested in Watkins museum serving as a hub that directs people to their areas.
The society is also looking to gain public insight on how to connect the Douglas County historical sites as part of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
Residents can also weigh in on the issues by filling out an online survey, available on the Watkins Museum Web site, at http://bit.ly/dchswatkinssurvey.