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Outside Exhibits

Outside Exhibit

Lone Elm School, Blacksmith and Harness Building, Osage Mission Museum

The main museum building is surrounded by more than two acres of campus and exhibits that represent farming, business, education and Osage Mission itself. Our museum campus includes a covered picnic table and enough open space to stroll off lunch while enjoying our quiet country atmosphere.
Summer visitors may have the opportunity to see "ghost lines" of the foundations of St. Ann's Academy on the western museum grounds. The Academy, an influential women's boarding school, was destroyed by fire September 3, 1895. Stone foundation lines are still visible during the dry part of the summer.

Lone Elm School

Lone Elm School House

This country schoolhouse was originally located about six miles northeast of the museum. It was one of more than 100 one-room schools that dotted the landscape across Neosho County. Each building represented its own school district and could be used to educate 40 or more students from grade one through eight. The inside of Lone Elm School contains furnishings and schoolbooks used through the mid-20th century.

While not part of the existing school system, this structure underscores our long tradition of educational excellence. St. Paul Schools, located across the street from the museum, are part of the oldest continually operating school system located in one area in the state of Kansas. We have not missed even part of a term since 1847 -- 164 years of continuous quality education!

Blacksmith and
Harness Building

This is the newest of our outdoor displays, and represents two early St. Paul businesses:

  • Paine Blacksmith
  • Joe Sork Harness Shop
The building is constructed in the storefront design of 19th century businesses and is used to display an array of blacksmith, farm and harness items. As the newest structure on our campus, display content grows steadily and can be expected to change from visit-to-visit.

The horseshoes & rope game in front of the shop challenges the dexterity of our visitors (and aggravates a few of them). It reminds us of a time when simple enjoyment did not require expensive, high-tech gadgets.

Blacksmith & Harness Shop

Hay Rake

Farm Exhibits

Our farm exhibits are displayed in a large, open steel shelter and adjoining, covered walkway. The building includes a variety of vintage equipment including rakes, plows, combines, spreaders, etc. The lawn, in front of the farm building, displays a Frick Co. steam tractor and a rare, belt-driven rock crusher. The east end of the covered walkway features a shaded picnic structure.

Foundation Ghost Lines

(Farm buildings in background) St. Ann's Academy consisted of several multi-story stone buildings. After they burned, remains of the buildings were razed and the foundations remained for decades. During the late 1950s, the state of Kansas built a roadside park to recognize the historical site. The foundations were flattened and buried. During the hot, dry period of summer (July, August), the foundation lines are clearly visible on the museum campus. These lines, coupled with the photo and map displays in the museum, provide a good perspective of the location and size of the school.

St. Ann's Foundation Lines

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