The Watkins Community Museum of History hosted a birthday party for the city of Lawrence on Sunday.
Museum volunteers and community members celebrated the 157th Founders Day with birthday cake, crafts and photo displays.
Lawrence’s first residents founded the town officially on Sept. 18, 1854, for the New England Emigrant Aid Company. On Oct. 8 of that year, residents voted to name it Lawrence City after company member Amos A. Lawrence of Boston.
Abby Pierron, the museum’s education coordinator, said that she hoped Founders Day would become a new tradition in Lawrence, celebrating the Civil War-era history as well as history since then.
“If they know nothing else, they know the territorial history,” Pierron said of Lawrence residents. “Watkins serves to show all the history of the town — of the whole community.”
Between helping kids make paper sunflowers, Kansas University student Sarah Bell said that events like Founders Day give the community a sense of identity.
“This helps make history more real for kids and adults,” she said.