programs

  • April 18: TCHS Annual Meeting, Program TBA. 12pm

  • May 3: Prairie Fair, for Grade School classes. 9am-2:30pm

  • June 1: Prairie Barn Market, Vintage & Handmade fair 10am-4pm

  • June 10-14: Night at the Museum camp for kids (and adults) 4th grade and up

  • June 14: Night at the Museum public performance 6:30pm

Exhibits

  • Current:

  • Mid April-May: Michael Jilg & Leon Staab, Eufloria

  • June-mid July: Thomas County Student Art

  • Mid July-August: Roxie Yonkey, Photography

  • Sept-Oct: Kary Zweygardt, Watercolors

  • Nov.-Dec: Pat Norton, Paintings


History

The Thomas County Historical Society was organized in 1959 as a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization to collect photographs, artifacts and histories of the region. The Society received the Kuska Collection in 1975 and opened the Thomas County Museum just one year later. In 1988, the Society closed the Thomas County Museum in downtown Colby and opened the Prairie Museum of Art & History in a new 21,500 sq. ft. museum building, 1/4 mile north of I-70 between exits 53 & 54. Over the next few years, the Cooper Barn, Eller House, Nicol School, Lone Star Church, Vacin Barn and the sod house were added to the 24-acre site.

The Prairie Museum is unique in being both a repository for Thomas County historical materials and artifacts and host to the collection of dolls, glassware, ceramics, toys, furniture and other items collected over a lifetime by Nellie Kuska. Our mission is to provide interpretive exhibits on regional history as well as on the artistic traditions embodied in the Kuska collections. They are not mutually exclusive enterprises, since the Kuska story is part of our local history, and each item in her collection has history of its own. At the same time, while our historical artifacts enrich and deepen our understanding of High Plains history, the international flavor of the Kuska collection connects us with other cultures and histories.


Mission Statement

The Prairie Museum of Art & History/Thomas County Historical Society serves the community of Thomas County and the greater NW Kansas area as an educational organization, promoting local history, hosting visitors, groups and organizations, while enhancing the quality of life on the high plains of Kansas.