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Old West/Pioneers

Beans, Buffalo, Bacon, Birds, Berries & Biscuits: What did they eat on the Santa Fe Trail?:   Leo Oliva, member, Santa Fe & Smoky Hill Trail Associations. Everyone who traveled the trails had to eat. Oliva uses firsthand accounts to explore the foods eaten, the preparation and the dining experience.

Bullets, Badges and Bridles: Horse Thieves and the Societies that Pursued Them:   John Burchill, associate professor, Kansas Wesleyan University. Horse thieves often used Kansas as the center of their operations. Learn how horse theft became such a problem, about individual thieves and the extreme solution.

Cowboys and Clerics:   John Burchill, associate professor, Kansas Wesleyan University. Discover the early years of Kansas clergy, the characters, congregations and conversions. Learn how abolitionists, early missions and the temperance movement all played a role.

Frontier Kansas Jails:   Gerald Bayens, PhD, professor, Washburn University. Outnumbered and outgunned, Kansas lawmen often kept the peace by sheer force of will and the strength of the local jail. Track Kansas settlement through these icons of prairie justice.

Head ‘Em Up & Move ‘Em Out:   Jim Gray, author and executive director of the National Drovers Hall of Fame. It’s the story of cowboys, cattle and the steak on your plate. Learn how drives functioned, the dangers, the men who led them, and how Ellsworth and Salina fit in.

Kansas Forts and Bases:   Debra Goodrich, author. Forts were often the difference between life and death on the prairie. Goodrich discusses the history of Kansas forts and bases, including their purposes, fates and the people in them.

Kansas Legends and Folktales:   Jim Hoy, author, professor, Emporia State University. Hoy explores some of the fantastic Kansas folktales and legends. Learn how these stories help us understand the character and people of our state.

Notorious Kansas Bank Heists: Gunslingers to Gangsters:   Rod Beemer, author. Join Rod Beemer as he shares stories from his new book of strange, comical and bizarre robberies as well as deadly and unsolved heists. He discusses those who robbed and those who tried to stop them. 

The Two Greatest Cattle Trails:   Dennis Garstang, member of the Wild West Association. It was a world of dust and hooves. Salina grew between the Chisholm and Western trails. Hear about the history of cattle trails, challenges, the drive and more.

Uncovering the Stories of Our Homesteader Relatives:   Tom Fleming, author. Kansas homesteaders were a lot like us. Fleming shares ways to research your pioneer past, revealing the human side of the homesteader experience. He also shares stories from his book, Prairie Tapestry.