Groups are always welcome. We can comfortably accomodate groups of most any size. We provide a variety of guided tour options and can tailor your tour to the to the age level and interests of your group and can coordinate your visit with the four local historical museums, or other area attractions. There is no admission fee, but the museum requests an honorarium for guided tours. Call the museum office at 785-222-9900 or send a message to theMuseum Education Director.
For teachers, we offer guided tours conducted by our knowledgeable staff designed to help fulfill requirements of the Kansas State Educational Standards. Our tour provides your students with an indepth tour, hands on experiences, and educational materials to take back to the classroom. Visit our Tours Page for more information.
Veteran barbed wire collectors and museum staff are always willing to present programs for your school or organization. We offer a variety of programs including Power Point presentations and hands-on displays. Costs are minimal and include mileage and a small honorarium for the presenter. For those interested in starting their own barbed wire collections, we can sponsor workshops and hands-on demonstrations. Contact the Museum Education Director for details.
Lecture Topics Include:
- “The Lore & Lure of the Devil's Rope”
—The invention and legal battle through the U.S. Supreme Court
- “Post Rock Country”
—The use of fencepost limestone in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
The museum provides a variety of educational materials for the classroom or individual study. Printable documents are available for download on a variety of topics. For printable materials, check the secondary menu on select webpages. The museum has packets available for teachers to provide exciting projects for a variety of ages for use in the classroom or as preparatory projects in advance of a museum tour. For in-depth research, the Larry Greer Research Center has thousands of patents and western history documents available for review in-house. Contact the Museum Education Director to learn how to obtain copies of these materials or to arrange access to the Greer Center.
The museum houses the most complete collection of historical information related to the history of barbed wire in existence. Trained and experienced educators and museum professionals have created classroom materials that provide a unique and interesting instructional content to fit within standardized and autonomous curriculum.
Museum exhibits are developed with reference to standards established by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum has been awarded three grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services including a Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) grant to provide professional consultation in proper collections care, a Museum Assessment Program (MAP) grant providing professional consultation and assessment for proper business management, and a General Operating Support grant to provide supplemental funding for efficient daily operations. Recently, the museum, in a cooperative endeavor with the Rush County Historical Society, was awarded a grant from the Golden Belt Community Foundation to develop and implement tours and teaching materials for area schools.
At specific times during the year, the museum offers public programs and events. During the Barbed Wire Festival in May, the museum offers entertaining and educational programs. In 2014, the “Miss Barbed Wire Pageant & Variety Show” was revived to provide area youth and adults an opportunity to share their talents and have an opportunity to win prize money and scholarships. The Friday after Thanksgiving, the museum participates with the Rush County Chamber of Commerce and Rush County Historical Society to host “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.” Museums are decorated in period decor, live music is performed in each building, and youth and adults can enjoy hands-on crafts and historical demonstrations.
Traveling Exhibits Available for Lease
The Donald Taylor Barbed Wire Collection
This traveling exhibit, produced by the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, tells the story of barbed wire through text and unique samples of authentic barbed wire. A variety of educational materials accompanies this exhibition. Museums, Historical Societies, Libraries, or schools interested in leasing the exhibit may contact us for more information.
The display consists of 4 hinged display boards, 3 feet in height by 4 feet in width. The display can be set up on two 8-foot tables, or can fit on a single 8-foot table as shown. It contains over 180 barbed wire samples and explainatory text. Supplemental educational materials include books, lesson plans, and demonstration specimens.