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To Read

"A History of the History in Gardner"

and about the activities in 2023 for celebrating our 20th anniversary

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To preserve the history of Gardner and the surrounding area.  

We strive to increase awareness of the historical significance of our area and its people.


The Gardner Historical Museum was founded in 2002, 20 years ago!

After acquiring the property, renovations were made inside, landscaping improved and parking added outside.

We celebrated our Grand Opening on September 20, 2003.

The Museum was listed by the National Park Service as a site on the 

National Historic Santa Fe Trail in 2005.

The Museum was placed on the Kansas State Register of Historic Buildings in 2007.

The Foster House:  In 1893, Herman B. Foster, a proprietor with Arthur Bigelow of Bigelow-Foster Mercantile in downtown Gardner, purchased ground and began construction on his home, which is now the the Gardner Historical Museum.  Mr. Foster's home was constructed in the 'Folk Victorian' style.  Extra touches were added, demonstrating the affluence of the owner - colored glass in the ornate front door and staircase, filigree work on door hinges, high ceilings, double doors to the private parlor, closets in each bedroom, oversized windows, ornate door & window molding, glass transoms and a large pantry/larder off the kitchen.


In 1902, the Foster's sold their home, moving to Colorado Springs for health reasons.  The home was purchased by Clarence R. Shedden, for $2,000, and held by that family for at least three generations.


In 1943 the home was sold to Dorothy "Dottie" and Lloyd "Bill" Segrist.  Dottie, outliving both her husband, Bill, and second husband, Paul Sutton, resided here until her death in 2001.


This property became part of the Gardner Historical Museum Complex in late 2010.

After updates inside and the addition of a ramp outside it was opened to the public in 2011.

It represents life in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as serving as our administrative, research and archive offices; meeting area; and artifact storage.

The Bray House:  Located directly behind the Museum, this ranch home was built in 1952 for Bob and Doris Bray.  During the 1950's and 1960's, Bob drove a gasoline truck for Standard Oil Co. and delivered to local stations and farms.  Customers came to the east door of the house to pay their bills and Doris would collect their money at the little desk just inside the door.  Before there was an Oak Street east of the home, the family constructed a croquet court in that space, made of fine gravel with a wooden border, that was enjoyed by children and adults from all over the area.


The Bray family was in residence until the death of son R.W. in 2009.

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