Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- The new exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center is all about stories of home.

Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills is based on a decade of student research at Kansas State University on rural towns across Kansas; a collection of stories about small town people and their everyday experiences.

The goal is to teach visitors about the towns that no longer exist or are in danger of being lost.

“We discovered in 2011 that there are over 9,000 place names in Kansas over its history, but if you look at a Kansas road map today, there are only about 650 viable places on a map. That’s an incredible loss of stories, of memories, of people’s homes,” said Bonny Lynn-Sherow, Exhibit Curator and Executive Director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies.

There’s an audio recording booth set up inside a miniature replica of a vintage general store that existed in Volland, Kansas. The sound booth is called the Story Store and was designed for visitors to record their own stories about home.

“People can go in and record a story, we would prefer it in conversation between two people. We use something called Story Corps app and it gets uploaded to the library of congress,” said Lynn-Sherow. “So people aren’t coming here to see history, they’re coming here to make history.”

Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills is a collaboration between the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, Kansas State University and the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The exhibit starts Saturday, September 24 and runs until January 8, 2017.

There are several tours to rural towns and children’s programs as part of the exhibit.

For more information visit www.flinthillsdiscovery.org/going home.