From the Archives of the Kansas Barbed Wire Collectors Association...

1967-1971 - The Beginning

No one could guess that what began in the fall of 1966 as a discussion among a group of businessmen in a small law office on 8th Street in La Crosse grew into an international phenomenon. It was only four months after the organizational meeting of the Kansas Barbed Wire Collectors Association in January 1967 at the La Crosse Country Club that the first Barbed Wire Swap & Sell drew over 2000 people to the small town of La Crosse, Kansas. Three years later, the association converted an old storefront cafe on La Crosse's Main Street to the world's first museum of barbed wire.

A Convention for Barbed Wire Collectors

Ivan Krug, Bill Robbins, and Dan Foster prepare to announce a new concept to the community - A Barbed Wire Convention. Bill Robbins, first secretary congratulates Ivan Krug, first president, under the watchful eyes of their wives Yvonne and Verdel.

A Cafe Becomes a Museum

The Chamber of Commerce purchased the vacant Sunflower Cafe building on Main Street to house their office and a museum. By May of 1970, the old building had been remodeled in anticipation of being the world's first museum of the history of barbed wire.
A majority of the original museum collections were from Leo Schugart, Hoisington, Kansas and Don Wigington, Hoxie, Kansas. In December 1969, local attorney Ivan Krug, first KBWCA president, made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Return to Barbed Wire Show Archives