Carroll Mansion

Leavenworth County Historical Society

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The Carroll Mansion
Home of the Leavenworth County Historical Society
Leavenworth KS 66048

Acquiring a Museum

A momentous event in the life of the society occurred at the annual meeting in 1964. Miss Ella Carroll, who was a charter member of the society, conveyed her home at 1128 Fifth Avenue, by quit claim deed for the price of one dollar, to the Leavenworth County Historical Society, Inc. It was reported in the Kansas City Star newspaper, that the donation of the building was not expected by the society. The article quoted a member, "Whenever the discussion about the lack of a museum building came up, Miss Carroll would say, 'We'll have one someday', and then change the subject".

he board of directors had to make a decision on how the house would be used. The society already had the furnishings for four rooms ready at the Fort Leavenworth museum, thus the decision was made to furnish the house as a Victorian Home. On September 13, 1964 the society had an open house at the proposed museum. Over 500 visitors viewed the empty home. One June 19, 1965 the Leavenworth County Historical Society had a grand opening, with a fully furnished Victorian Home Museum. Over 14,500 visitors were registered in the first two years of operation.

The museum that opened its doors to the public on June 19, 1965 was in many respects similar to the museum that now greets the public. The museum and historical society was organized and governed by volunteers. In 1966 the museum had its first paid position, a caretaker. The original caretaker, was paid $100 a month, and furnished a room to live in. In 1971 a part-time administrator was hired. In 1977 a second part-time volunteer coordinator was hired, and by 1980, a third part-time staff member was hired for duty on the Weekends. Today the Society has a full time Administrator, a Half Time, Assistant, who is responsible for the accounting, and a part time Weekend Administrator.

The Historical Society museum would not be in existence however without the time and support of over 50 volunteers who give approximately 2,500 hours of time a year. This time is given through hostesses and tour guides, researching and documenting artifact collections, Board Member's time in formulating polices and even volunteer work in gardening, landscaping and minor maintenance in the museum itself.

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