BY JADEN MOUNT
The Fort Hays State University’s Forsyth Library in Hays, Kansas, has a new exhibit that features two landmarks in the state, the so-called Garden of Eden and the extinct Waconda Springs (now Waconda Lake), through postcards.
Timothy Johnson, a retired medical professional, began his collection of postcards when he was a teenager. According to Special Collections and Periodicals Librarian Patty Nicholas, who organized the exhibit’s display at the library, Johnson was interested in history, which helped him start the hobby.
“He’s always had an interest in history,” said Nicholas. “He ended up being in the medical field, which he recently retired from, but he always had an interest in history. So I think that’s why he started it as a hobby when he was a teenager. He loved going to the auctions and finding these postcards.”
As a former history student of FHSU, Nicholas hopes viewers of the exhibit take away something very special.
“I hope they can take away that there’s a lot of history in Kansas that you may not know about,” Nicholas says. “And some of that history is not available to be seen as is evident in the case of Waconda Springs. And so with the postcards, you can look at the postcards and see what the springs, spa, resort – whatever it was called at that time – what it looked like.”
Interested spectators can view the exhibit during library hours. Until August 19, those hours are Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm. Starting August 20, those hours will change to Monday – Thursday, 7:30 am to midnight, Friday 7:30 am to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to midnight.
Spectators can also rate the exhibit via a touchscreen panel on the left-side pillar. The ratings help Forsyth Library understand what spectators liked about each exhibit and what kind of future exhibits to consider, according to Cyndi Landis, instruction and outreach librarian.
The exhibit “Postmark Landmarks” will be on display until August 31.