About Reno County Museum
Admission is free to the museum, but donations are always welcome! Our suggested donation is $2 for adults and $1 for children. This money goes back into the museum to improve the visitor experience.
The Reno County historical society was formed in 1960 and the original museum opened in 1963. In 1968, the museum relocated to Haven’s Township hall where it stayed until 1986. That year, the museum came back to Hutchinson and has remained here since. The Reno County Museum occupies two historic buildings at the corner of Avenue A and Walnut. The Great American Life Insurance Building, also known as the Kline Building, was built in 1917 and houses the museum’s exhibit galleries. The Rosemont Apartment building was built in 1913 and contains the museum’s artifact storage and administrative offices. The museum currently has over 40,000 artifact records with 200,000 number items.
The museum has two floors. The first floor contains our main gallery, transportation gallery and our special exhibit showcasing important people in Reno County’s history. The main gallery will soon be developed into a comprehensive and chronological history of the county. The second floor contains a gallery that explores specific topics. Currently an aerial photography exhibit that compares early photos of Hutchinson with modern shots.
The second floor also contains our Pat Mitchell Research Library. In the library you’ll find a variety of important historical documents to help you examine the county’s history on your own. Birth and death records, marriage records, history books, 140 years of city directories and a variety of reference books fill our shelves.
The children’s area can also be found upstairs. This area is filled with activities related to important parts of Reno County’s cultural heritage. These include a BNSF train, Gleaner Combine and Carey Salt rail car. Efforts are underway to update our theater to replicate the Fox Theater where kids can dress up or create their own puppet show.
Outside on the museum grounds we have an 1870s claim house that once had a family of six living inside. There is also an early iron jail and a variety of farm implements. Our courtyard is undergoing improvements with new plants that will highlight native species to Kansas!