BU to be featured in Smithsonian exhibit
Baker University’s history will be featured March 23 through May 5 in The Way We Worked Kansas tour as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program at the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St.
Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, The Way We Worked explores how work became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections to tell a compelling story.
The Baldwin City exhibition will highlight Baker’s founding in 1858, the naming of the University, the first structure on campus, and the economic and cultural boost the University provides. Read more about the program.
Inspired by a meeting between Methodist Episcopal Church members in a log cabin in Palmyra, Baker was founded 155 years ago and the named after Osmon Cleander Baker, the Kansas-Nebraska bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church at that time. A one-mile tract of land in Palmyra was bought, and building lots were sold to raise funds for the school, the first in the state and closely tied to the church with ordained ministers serving as presidents for the first 122 years.
The campus’ first two-story stone structure was called the College Building and later became Old Castle, which houses Kansas, Methodist and University artifacts. A replica of Kibbee cabin, where the Methodists met to plan for Baker, stands next to Old Castle and represents the early history of Baker and the Palmyra Post Office.
Other Baldwin area features highlighted in the exhibition are the Santa Fe Trail, agriculture, the railroad and the lumberyard building.
The Way We Worked Kansas tour is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. Support for The Way We Worked Kansas tour has been provided by the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation and the Douglas County Community Foundation. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.