The Dawes County Historical Society holds its annual Garden Party at the County Museum south of Chadron today at 2:00 with a unique theme – a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution that’s at the museum this month.
“Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” a Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition, explores how cultural and economic changes have affected rural America over the last century and how rural communities are preparing for the future.
Museum spokesman Junice Dagen says the Garden Party is a free-will donation event that’s important to the Historical Society and the Museum.
Society President Sharon Rickenbach says they’ve been planning for the arrival of Crossroads for 2 years and hoping for it for 3 – starting with her sister sending her an article on the Smithsonian looking for Nebraska hosts for the exhibit.
As it turned out, Crossroads began its Nebraska visit in the Panhandle and is ending back here as well.
Crossroad’s stay in Chadron officially began last Wednesday, but Junice Dagen says this is the grand opening.
Designed by the Smithsonian, “Crossroads” features six sections filled with photos, artifacts and multimedia presentations.
At each stop, visitors are encouraged to discuss what happened when the nation’s rural population became a minority and how their communities have managed the ripple effects that continue to this day.
Today’s Garden Party is one of those opportunities, but it’s also just a chance to get reacquainted with the Dawes County Museum heading into the summer visitors season so you can encourage family and friends to go on a visit themselves.