The Johnson County Museum began as an all-volunteer organization in 1967 with the mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Johnson County with the community. Originally located in the two-room 1927 Greenwood School in Shawnee, the facility expanded over the years into a 20,000 sq. ft. museum before moving to its new home in 2017.
The museum celebrated its 50th year in its new home at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in 2017, and for the first time, began charging an admission fee. The museum has been recognized over 20 times for excellence in exhibitions, programming and publications by national, regional and state organizations.
The museum came under the management of Johnson County Park and Recreation District in 2016. The Museum Advisory Council, appointed by the Johnson County Commission, oversees the museum’s collection program. A separate not-for-profit, the Johnson County Museum Foundation, raises private funds to support museum initiatives. A professional staff of 10 oversees day-to-day museum operations with the support of over 50 community volunteers.
The Main Museum features long-term and changing exhibits, online resources for research, school and public programming, kids day out and summer camps, as well as many special events. Each year, the museum serves over 50,000 visitors onsite and nearly 100,000 people via its online resource materials available at www.JoCoHistory.org.
Temporary exhibits also rotate throughout the year. Visit the museum webpage for more information on current exhibits.
The All Electric House in the Museum:
Whether you're a child of the Fifties or just curious about lifestyles from this nostalgic era, the 1950’s All-Electric House offers an eye-opening look at the technology of the times. Showcased inside were futuristic gadgetry like a hidden television, electric curtain opener, a garage door opener and "the year 'round air conditioner…known as the heat pump.
Originally constructed by Kansas City Power & Light electric company in 1954, this five-room ranch house captures why a home in the suburbs was part of the American dream after World War II. The model home was open for a period of six months as a model home in the bedroom suburb of Prairie Village. It was a must see for many -- over 62,000 people toured the home in 1954, a number equal to that of Johnson County’s entire population.
A family home for forty years, the 1950’s All-Electric House is once again a model house open for today’s tourists. Step inside to discover this "house of the future!”
The Lanesfield Historic Site:
The site features the limestone Lanesfield School, a visitor’s center with exhibits and a museum store, and a covered picnic shelter. Adjacent to the site is a 79-acre prairie, owned by Kansas City Power and Light.
Built in 1869, the school is the only standing structure from Lanesfield, Kansas. The town served as a mail stop on the Santa Fe Trail, identified with a 1906 Daughters of the American Revolution marker. A 1858 pre-Civil War skirmish also took place in the area between Missouri Border Ruffians and Free-State Kansans, led by General James H. Lane, the town’s namesake.