The Peabody Historical Society is remembering when entertainment came to town weekly, when famous people visited the library, dancing was in the new Butler barn and ladies always had a quilt project under way.


The Peabody Historical Society is remembering when entertainment came to town weekly, when famous people visited the library, dancing was in the new Butler barn and ladies always had a quilt project under way.

On Sunday, all the action will be at the museum complex in Peabody with the Prairie Pastimes Program. The WRC Soup Kitchen, which was really the wives and sisters of the Civil War veterans, served food quite often, and so the Morgan House will be transformed and will serve soup, desserts and coffee starting at 11:30 a.m. Food is by donation.

“Some of the best cooks in town will have their specialities,” a Peabody news release stated.

Tickets for the program will be for sale in the Carnegie Library basement; go to the north door. Verna Mosiman and Tresa Jones will have a quilt show of quilts never seen before in Peabody from the 1884 era. There will be mini lectures and quilters working around a quilting frame.

Visitors can spend the afternoon at the quilt show or proceed upstairs where a variety show with “Blind Boone,” a pianist of the 1880s, will entertain, as well as juggler Josh Klarmann from Braddock and vocalist Sheryl Simmonds. The library board and staff will serve cider and cookies.

The library is the original first free library in Kansas, given by F.H. Peabody of Boston in appreciation for the town deciding to name the new community Peabody. Peabody was a vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad. An article recently discovered by Steve Baker gives many details about the building, the visitor, patrons, books and how the library was the center of entertainment. Financier Jay Gould went to Peabody, and Jim Myers and his crew will bring back history of that era. Corrupt financial dealings are not exclusive to 2010, the news release stated.

Butler’s new barn was the scene of dances to make money for the library, and Morgan’s barn will showcase polka dancers led by Phil McPheeters and friends. The public is invited to join them.

The event will take place rain or shine, snow or sleet or other bad weather. Ropes will be strung between buildings in case of blizzard so non one will get lost.